If you’ve got a long journey ahead on the road, it’s important to make sure you arrive at your destination safe and sound. Learning some key tips for safe long distance driving can be crucial at ensuring you make it in one piece. Fatigue on the road is a major contributor to accidents, so being prepared for a long journey will ensure you make your trip as safely as possible.
- Plan ahead
Map your route out early to avoid any surprises. Have a look at the weather conditions on the road, potential fuel stops, and resting spots along your route. If possible, try to leave outside peak traffic hours, and make sure your car is road-ready before you head off. Repairs are almost always more costly on the road.
- Avoid using cruise control
Long distance driving often leads to driver fatigue, in which case cruise control can be incredibly dangerous. If you get tired and don’t notice traffic slowing down, it’s an accident waiting to happen. It’s important to maintain control of your own vehicle.
- Get a good night’s sleep before you leave
It’s incredibly dangerous to be tired on the road, so ensure you’re rested before you leave. If you’re leaving early in the morning, go to bed early the night before.
- Take a break in a safe place every two hours
As well as allowing you to stretch out your legs and stop for some fresh air, regular breaks are important for giving your eyes and mind a rest from staring at the road.
- Share the drive
If you’ve got someone else in the car who’s able to drive, sharing the drive is a good way to make sure no one feels tired.
- Give yourself extra time on the road
Not having to worry about rushing to your destination means you’re more likely to drive safely. Allow some extra time for the journey there.
- Eat light and stay hydrated
Heavy meals will leave you feeling uncomfortable over a long journey. Small, healthy snacks and plenty of water are the best sustenance.
- Dress comfortably
Long drives can be painful in the best conditions, so imagine how bad they get if you’re dressed uncomfortably. Comfy clothes and shoes are an essential!
- Be mindful of road rules
The worst thing that can happen on a long drive is that you stop paying full attention to the road. Avoid getting distracted by your phone or other passengers – even if you’re feeling bored. It’s always best to pull over and take a break if you’re feeling antsy.
New Zealand is full of beautiful long roads for road tripping, and it’s a summer staple to head off on a long drive! You can make the process easier for you by ensuring you’re prepared to hit the road.