Tips for staying safe when driving long distances

Whether you’re just tackling the daily commute or are embarking on a cross-country road trip, being comfortable with covering long distances is an important skill for every driver to possess. Not only does it require a greater level of concentration for a longer period, but long journeys also need some extra prior planning, to ensure you reach your destination safely and on time. In this post, we bring you four top tips to help you stay safe on those long-distance drives, giving you greater confidence and control behind the wheel.

Plan regular breaks

Driving for a prolonged period of time without any breaks can be extremely dangerous. This is because feeling fatigued can affect drivers’ decision-making abilities, awareness and reaction times, making it a major cause of road traffic accidents. Drowsy driving is comparable in many ways to drunk driving, and both conditions can be equally dangerous. To avoid incurring any penalties and to reduce your risk of causing a collision, it’s recommended you take a 15-minute break after no more than two hours of driving. If you have any passengers that are insured to drive your vehicle, you can always take shifts to stop drowsy driving from affecting your journey.

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Preparation is key

When you know you’re going to be travelling across great distances, it’s vital you prepare properly. While it may not always be possible, you should try to get a good night’s sleep prior to embarking on a long journey. You should also ensure that you’re properly hydrated and have eaten the correct foods to provide you with enough energy for a long drive. Doing these things will all help to keep you alert behind the wheel. To prepare your car, pack any supplies you think you may need, including water, snacks and a pillow if you’re going to be sharing the driving. You will also need to pack an emergency kit for your car in case you break down. This should include medical supplies, a torch, blankets, a map and any other items you think may be useful in an emergency situation.

Avoid driving in adverse weather conditions

Driving in adverse weather conditions can be challenging and pose a significant risk to both drivers and passengers over long distances. Heavy rain, snow, ice, and strong winds can make it difficult to see the road ahead and maintain control of the vehicle. If the weather conditions are particularly severe it may be best to avoid driving altogether. The reason driving in adverse weather conditions is troublesome over longer distances is that it takes a lot more mental energy to control your car safely when the weather is throwing everything at your car. You should take extra care when planning your route and ensure you allow enough time to reach your destination safely.

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David McCourt

David McCourt

Sr. Editorial Content Strategist

"Own less, share more."

David is on a mission to improve the quality of life in cities through modern mobility solutions.