How to Drive Long Distance: 14 Life-Saving Tips

The thought of long-distance driving feels exciting at first but soon gets uncomfortable, especially if you remain ignorant of the simple tips of safe driving.

Are you looking to make your driving fun and comfortable? You're in the right place!

This article contains 14 useful driving tips that will come in handy for any long-distance driver.

Read and understand all these well-explained driving tips!

Top 14 Driving Tips on Long Distance Driving

Plan Beforehand

Planning your journey beforehand is paramount to having a comfortable drive. Where are you going? Who will join you on the trip? Do you know the routes to your destination? Are you planning to wear comfortable clothes? Do you know where to stop for food, fuel, food, and ablutions? Are there rest stops along your way?

By answering these questions, you will rest assured that your long drive will be relaxing and enjoyable. Install maps and GPS on your phone, plan your trip route, fuel your car, ensure the tires are in good condition, understand the weather report, make hotel arrangements, and carry some snacks. Contact someone at your destination to be sure that you have someone waiting for you.

Get Enough Sleep on the Night Before you Travel

The best way of starting your trip is to have a night of uninterrupted sleep. It is refreshing and offers the best way of rejuvenating your strength and keeping your mind alert during the drive. If you plan to start your long drive early in the morning, be sure to sleep for at least 6 hours.

What many drivers do not know is that having enough sleep guarantees safe and efficient driving.  While sleeping, do away with whatever might distract you. It could be your phone, loud music, lights, etc. These distractions may adversely affect your good night's sleep, keeping your mind active and awake throughout the night.

All in all, do not think of hitting the road before you get enough sleep. Undersleeping makes you prone to drowsiness and micro-sleeps, causing you to drive like a drunk person.

Pack all the Items you Need

Besides the credit cards, do not forget to carry some little cash with you. Remember to bring along with you your car insurance card and license. If you will be crossing your country’s borders, ensure you have a valid passport and your National Identity Card. And do not forget to pack your phone charger, especially if you will be using the phone's GPS to navigate.

Intoxicants are Prohibited

Do not consume intoxicants like alcohol the day or morning of your road trip. Driving your car with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% is against the road safety rules and considered drinking and driving or driving under the influence. But even the smallest alcohol amount the night or the morning of the trip could lead to harmful situations like accidents and highway injuries.

What drivers do not know is any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream impacts their driving ability. The intoxicants have slow reflexes and could decrease your ability to react swiftly while driving. It also slows your eye muscle function and takes away your alertness. That is why drinking adversely affects your ability to make proper judgments.

While that one beer may not intoxicate you, it will certainly make you feel sleepy. And you know better than anyone that drowsy driving on an open road is dangerous. And so, ensure that the intoxicants are a no-go zone, especially the morning before the journey!

Dress Appropriately

This long-distance driving tip is the most neglected because it seems 'valueless.' But you will now understand its importance.

Daytime driving for long hours exposes your legs, arms, and face to the scorching sunlight. And even if your car may be having tinted windows, the exposure will soon create sunburns in your skin. No one wants such memories on reaching their destination!

Be sure to wear comfortable clothes before you hit the open road. They should neither be too heavy to make you sleepy nor too light to make you feel cold. Instead, you can rely on 'removable' clothes that are easy to put on or remove along the way. These types will help you change to whatever weather condition.

Apply sunblock on your face, arms, neck, and legs before you leave. But you can still reapply the sunblock every two hours if you deem it necessary. Your shoes should also fit comfortably to allow your feet to breathe and move comfortably. Not forgetting, ensure you place your lumbar support seat cushion on the car's seat to achieve a proper sitting posture.

You can also check out these seat cushions for long drives.

Ready? It's now time to start the road trip!

Stay Hydrated

Your road trip cannot be complete without a bottle of water. Sufficient amounts of water reduce fatigue by keeping your body well dehydrated. Females drivers are recommended to consume around two liters of water in a day, whereas men can take up to three liters.

Alternatively, you can consider drinking caffeine during your long drive. Caffeine is great, too. All these drinks will keep you hydrated and also increase your alertness, focus, and concentration. Only avoid drinking too many caffeinated beverages; they are diuretic and can dehydrate your body.

Another bonus tip: position Pack your water bottle in an easy-to-get place to avoid distracting yourself when feeling thirsty along the way. You can place it right next to you.

Eat Light and Not Heavily

It is likely to feel hungry during your long road trips. If so, you can take out your snacks and eat something. However, consuming fast food or heavy meals while in the car may not be a good idea. They will leave your stomach feeling full and bloated. Therefore, you can eat small portions of healthy snacks at regular intervals to keep the hunger away.

Enjoy the Fresh Air

Did you know that fresh air can keep you awake during long-distance trips? Now you know!

Driving long distances at a constant speed and on the same road creates a constant temperature inside the car. This may make your body comfortable, leading to drowsiness. Besides staying hydrated, you will need fresh air to keep your mind alert. It will cost you nothing to open the car windows intermittently and allow fresh air in the car.

But if you want them raised, you can rely on your air conditioning (AC) system to keep the air cool as you drive. Keep switching between the ‘fresh air and ‘recirculating’ modes on the air-conditioner. This temperature change is what will help you stay alert along the way.

It's Okay to Take a Break after Every Two Hours

It's not advisable to drive for two continuous hours. You'll start experiencing body numbness and muscle tingling, which is not safe for your long-distance driving. From the road safety standpoint, taking some regular breaks will keep your energy levels high and make the road trip enjoyable.

During this break, you can stretch your legs, use the bathroom, move around, dance to the music, take some selfies with your family members, and eat some snacks. Breaks are important and will leave you feeling fresh like never before!

Let Your Buddy Help you Drive

It is advisable to carry a buddy along during your long-distance driving. They give excellent company by watching over you as you drive. Your buddy will be in the position to note whether your eyelids are closing. They will also notice when you're heading to another driver's lane because of sleep. When feeling tired and need to stretch your legs, your buddy can jump behind the wheel to allow you to take a break. This extra help makes the road trips an easy affair.

A Nap will Help

If you've begun yawning uncontrollably or closing your eyelids, consider pulling over for a quick nap. This could be especially helpful for drivers who travel without co-drivers. The place should be safe and well-populated. Pack safely, lock the doors, and close your eyelids for around 20-30 minutes. Taking a nap is like having a break and is better than risking getting into a fatal accident due to drowsy driving.

Check your Fuel Level

While at your next checkpoint, you can open your fuel tank and be sure that the fuel amount will be enough to take you to your destination. Do not travel with a fuel level drop below a quarter tank. You might reach in remote places that do not have fuel stations or roadside assistance. In such cases, you might remain stranded with no ideas of moving forward. Do not take a chance but ensure you are driving and staying safe. It is also important to ensure your car has good maintenance. This will make the trip smoother with no unnecessary stops.

Obey the Road Rules

Long-distance driving calls for your full attention to obey all the safety rules. Do not be distracted by your family members, loud music, or ringing cellphones. Importantly, obey the recommended speed limit without overtaking other cars carelessly. Also, ensure that all your family members are well-buckled under their safety belts. All in all, remain courteous to all other drivers during the road trip. All these rules will make your long-distance road trip a success!

Take your Time

Long drives do not need rushing! And if you are on holiday mode, why not take your time and enjoy your road trip? If you planned the journey well, you will have ample time traveling without the worries of reaching your destination at night. Planning the trip also allows you time to refuel, have to rest stops every two hours, use the bathroom, take some healthy snacks or fast food, and stay hydrated. This way, you will have a more relaxing and enjoyable drive without rushing through the long journey.

Conclusion

Are you planning to hit the road for a long-distance drive? We hope this article was helpful and will make your long drives better than before. Whether you are headed to Grandma’s place with your family or driving for a long-distance business trip, be sure to try and test these useful top 14 driving tips.

The driving tips will make your long car trip more exciting and safer!

 

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