Long distance driving is tough, even for the professionals so How’s My Driving? has asked some world class drivers who are currently on their road safety scheme, to share some of their top survival tips for long distance driving, enabling you to manage risk when driving to keep you and your passengers safe.
1. Get your beauty sleep
Having enough sleep before embarking on your journey is an important factor, if you have been awake for 18 hours or more then you are certainly in no state to drive. Staying awake for that lengthy period of time is in fact equal to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. Some countries even classify this level of alcohol concentration enough to be legally drunk, so make sure you get a full 8 hours of sleep before embarking on your journey will mean you are fully alert for the drive.
2. Stay fresh and hydrated
A study conducted at Loughborough University showed motorists who are dehydrated in fact make twice as many mistakes in comparison to alert and hydrated drivers. Dehydration can also result in a reduction in concentration, a lack of alertness and problems with short-term memory. Not all of us enjoy guzzling water, so why not add some cordial to make drinking water a bit more interesting.
3. Don’t forget the wet tissues
Having a pack of wet tissues in the car means you can wipe your face and wrists to cool you down, keep you alert and refreshed throughout the long drive.
4. Keep stretching
Whether you are driving or just riding in the passenger seat stretching will keep the blood flowing around your body, especially as you will be stuck in the same position for a long period of time. Performing simple leg and arm stretches can be easily performed anywhere and at anytime, just remember to ensure you are in a safe position to exit your vehicle and stretch.
5. Why not try an audiobook?
An audiobook can be a great companion during long journeys on the road when you are alone, you don’t have to fumble around, change any channels or sort out your radio station signal, you can just sit back, relax and listen to the story whilst still being able to concentration fully on the road ahead.
6. Tired? Stop off
Yawning and dozing off? The best thing you can do is find a safe spot to pull over, in the nearest service station, and try and have a quick power nap, anything up to an hour is recommended, as long than this make in fact make you feel even more tired than before. If you don’t think you can nap, then walking around, stretching, having a drink or just going to the toilet can be of great benefit. Whatever you choose to do, make sure at some point you get out of the car and walk around. Driver’s fatigue is a very real issue that causes thousands of incidents on our roads every year, however much of a rush you are in, no amount of time saved is worth the safety of yourself and any passengers in the car.
7. Pack your snacks
There is nothing worse than being hungry and not having anything to eat, so by remembering to pack plenty of snacks within reach of your seat so you can keep your rumbly tummy as bay. Professional drivers suggest a punnet of grapes as they are easy to eat whilst driving on the road.
And lastly, enjoy yourself. One of the best time killers is being distracted, so turn up that music up high and sing along to your favourite songs, relax and experience the open road.