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Tips for Driving Long Distance

Published on: 27 March 2015

Most drivers will need to drive long distances from time to time, and just as any other time when you are travelling in a motor vehicle, there are certain safety measures and precautions to take into account to ensure that you arrive at your destination safely.

Vehicle inspection

This is crucial before you embark on your journey. Make sure that all of your vehicle’s services are up to date, and you have your tires, shocks, brakes and windshield wipers checked. A vehicle that is less than roadworthy can cause a number of accidents and can also cause your monthly car insurance premiums to sky rocket. As a result, it is essential to check that your car is still in good condition on a regular basis. Read this article for more advice.

Stay alert and awake

This is a crucial step in making sure that you drive safely. There are various ways to stay awake while driving long distances, and here they are:

  • Use food and drink to keep you alert. Sipping on an energy drink or coffee that contains caffeine can help you stay alert. In addition to this, drinking lots of fluids will encourage you to stop off to use the bathroom more often, which gives you a much-needed break from driving. It’s also hard to fall asleep when you need the toilet! Avoid food and drink with a high sugar content as this can cause a terrible sugar crash which can stimulate drowsiness. Eat food that takes longer to finish, such as munching on chips one at a time, as this activity will help keep you alert. Crunching or sucking on ice chips also works extremely well when it comes to keeping alert as the coldness and texture stimulates your senses.
  • Keep the temperature of your car cool, but not too cold. Open your window to have fresh air blow on your face, or position your car’s air vents to gently blow on your face so as to not dry out your eyes.
  • Play upbeat music and sing along to music that you like. We feel that these 10 songs really capture the freedom of life on the road!
  • If you are not travelling alone, engage in conversation with the occupants of your vehicle.  If you’re travelling alone, feel free to engage in conversation with yourself – no one will know but yourself!

Take regular breaks

If you are travelling with another driver, take turns driving, making sure that the takeover driver is well rested and ready to take control! If you are driving alone, or do not have another licensed driver with you, then stop off at rest stations and take a walk around your car to get your blood pumping again.

Extra Tip: When stopping off at a petrol station for a break, have your tire pressure checked again and conduct a general inspection of your motor vehicle.

Driving with a child

Children can make long distance driving more than a challenge, especially if they are really young and attention-hungry. Check out this article for helpful safety tips on driving with a child.

Know your route

Plan your route before you leave, and, if necessary, put your destination into a GPS navigation system. In addition to the removed distraction of being uncertain of your surroundings and where you should be going, you will be able to pinpoint petrol stations and rest stops.

Be prepared for the unexpected

Make sure that you have a spare tire in your boot, as well as a kit with which to repair a puncture or perform a tire change. Carry some cash in order to pay tolls. Most importantly, ensure that you have your car insurance company’s phone number on speed dial, as well as the number for your emergency roadside assistance. Having a mini First Aid kit in your vehicle, and provisions of snacks and liquids in the event of a breakdown are all good preparation efforts for the unexpected.

Most of all, remember to enjoy yourself!

Long drives can be very soothing, and a good time to reflect on many things that may have been troubling you, or decisions that you are uncertain about. Let’s also not forget about the perks of arriving at your destination and having your own wheels to ride around in!

Ensure that you are prepared for the worst but expect the best! Contact MiWay today for reliable car insurance.