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Safe Driving: 8 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Long Drive

John Miller is a home improvement and design expert who loves sharing what he has learned throughout his career on various online media and websites.

A significant number of accidents occurs because drivers are careless. The number of people who die on the road is staggering and terrifying – each year there are over 1.3 million crash victims and up to fifty million people get hurt because of traffic accidents.

However, the majority of these accidents, a lot which causes permanent damage even when they’re not fatal, can be avoided. As a matter of fact, the way to decrease these unfortunate situations is quite easy.

It’s your responsibility as a driver is to drive carefully, and especially so when you have a long journey planned. Once you go through the following ten tips, you’ll be equipped with necessary knowledge about long drives and thus make them safe for you and everyone around you.

Go to Your Mechanic

Even though your car doesn’t show any signs of malfunction, that doesn’t necessarily mean that one is not coming your way. Before you set off on your adventure, you first need to drive to your mechanic’s. They will conduct a thorough check and take precautions that will minimize the chance of malfunctions.

This is as necessary as asking the right questions when purchasing a new car. You should never allow yourself any uncertainties when it comes to your vehicle.

Get Enough Sleep

Drivers shouldn’t be distracted by anything while on the road, which also means tiredness mustn’t be a factor. When you’re tired, your reactions are slower and less effective. If you participate in a car accident while you’re sleep-deprived, you won’t be able to respond quickly enough. When you’re rested and alert, you might be able to avoid an accident altogether.

Take Often Breaks

Even if you don’t feel like you need a break, you should still take it. The most efficient way to do this is making a break schedule. Long drives can make you sleepy and they can cause cramps in your muscles – both of which will decrease your level of alertness.

Find a Driving Buddy

It’s always smart to drive with someone. Your driving buddy can keep you awake, you can switch with them when you start feeling tired, and you’ll have someone to keep you company.

Study the Law

As a driver, you should be closely familiar with traffic laws. However, if you’re traveling from one state to another, you should definitely consult the law and see if there are any differences. This will contribute to your safety on the road and probably save you from paying a ticket.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Although everyone is familiar with this rule, not a lot of people follow it consistently. We already mentioned how vital it is for you to stay sharp and alert during your drives. Well, other than the fact that drinking clouds your judgment in general, driving under the influence will severely slow down your reflexes. This kind of reckless driving is one certain way to hurt yourself and the people around you.

Know Your Car

This is a smart idea generally, not only when you’re preparing for a long drive. Your car can malfunction when you least expect it – you might be stuck for hours on a deserted road while waiting to be rescued. When you’re familiar with simple tweaks and tricks, and when you know how to fix minor problems, this situation can be avoided.

On the other hand, if you participate in an accident, you must be completely sure that your car is in a functional state before you start driving again. For that reason, you should be familiar with different levels of damage.

For example, if you’re dealing with car frame damage, chances are you’ll be able to drive off. However, when the frame of the car is damaged, your vehicle won’t protect you in the next crash.

Stock Up with Snacks

During a long drive, it’s quite important that you keep your energy levels high. It’s even more important that everything you eat or drink is healthy. If you exaggerate with caffeine, for example, you’ll have to deal with shakiness and jitters. Junk food will make you drowsy because your stomach needs some time to digest it. So, it’s best if you eat light and be very careful about your caffeine intake.

Finally, you should listen to your body. Although it might be quite important for you to arrive at your destination on time, it’s more important that you get there in one piece. So, if you feel that tiredness is overtaking you, find the nearest motel or hotel, and get some sleep.

All of these points put together will help you become a responsible, safe driver. Although they might seem like too much to take in at once, they will become a matter of habit before you know it.

John Miller is a home improvement and design expert who loves sharing what he has learned throughout his career on various online media and websites.


  1. Mary Ambrosino says

    You should always stop if you can. I find that taking a break makes the trip much easier and whenever I can I like to ppull off spend the night and get something to eat when taking a long trip instead of trying to drive straight through.