Many of us will have been in a position where we have had to drive long distance across the country whether through choice or through an emergency.
However, there can be big dangers from making such trips if we are not prepared. The most prolific issue is arguably ensuring that you stay awake at the wheel at all times. These trips are more than just an hour’s drive to work or a simple trip to the supermarket. Instead these trips consist of between four to twelve hour sessions behind the steering wheel.
If you do not prepare for these types of journey and do not stop regularly to rest, then you could end up damaging your vehicle and yourself.
Sleeping on the Job
Driving has this special ability to make somebody tired and this is especially true about motorway driving as the monotony of this kind of driving can lead to a lack of concentration and alertness. Motorway driving leaves you open to a feeling of tiredness as the scenery and your actions do not really change for long periods of time.
Driving when you are tired is thought to be almost as dangerous as driving when you are under the influence of alcohol. Therefore rests and planned stops are so important to the safety of yourself and other road users.
Be Fully Rested Up Before You Set Off
If you have a pre-planned trip in mind, then the best thing that you can do is to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep the night before. Make sure you eat something before you set off, take snacks and drinks with you and have your route mapped out. You should only drive during the parts of the day when you notice that you are more alert, which can differ from person to person.
Some of us struggle to wake up in the mornings whilst others are instantly awake; hence why you should understand how your internal clock works.
Take Regular Breaks from Driving
Again this tip is dependent on the person involved. We should all be stopping every two hours and either taking a short nap or getting out and taking a little walk to get you blood pumping again. If you do not like taking short naps as it appears to make you feel even more tired when you wake then taking a little walk might be a better option for you.
Bring a Second Driver
If it is possible for you to have somebody else who can drive along with you, it will not only make the journey quicker and less arduous, but it will also be much easier for you to stay awake. Split the driving up so that the other can rest and there is very little need for you to stop often along the way.
The added conversation will also help to keep your mind entertained when you are trundling along, which will not only help you with boredom but keep you from feeling drowsy.
Are You on Any Medication?
If you are on any form of medication you need to find out if they can make you drowsy, these could be anything from cough medicine to prescribed drugs. You need to read the instructions and see if one of the side effects are drowsiness, if the label says you should not be operating heavy machinery, this does actually include driving a car.
So hopefully this little guide helped you to prepare for your long journey, whilst making you aware of factors that could hinder your trip.
Calvin Ford is a writer who understands the importance of taking regular rest stops on a long journey and planning your trip before you leave. If you do not do these things then you might end up causing an accident and finding that you need to be selling your badly damaged car to cover medical bills.