7 tips for a safe long drive

Jul 11, 2019 | Same topic: Let's drive smart!
Drive as long as you feel comfortable with these handy tips.

If you don't do long haul drives often, then you may encounter problems when you actually get on your first long haul journey. Driving for long distances requires you to be alert and intuitive. Your car should also be in good condition to tolerate the long drive.

Before actually saying “yes” to the long trip ahead, you first need to ready yourself or you might end up regretting the decision later. To get your mind and body suited up for the long driving task, Philkotse.com made a guide that will help you stay safe and enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Take a look here:

1. Get enough sleep and rest

Make sure that you are well rested before going on a long trip, especially if you will be the one driving. This is why it's important to be informed of the trip in advance. Getting enough rest will save you from fatigue and headache from prolonged driving.

If you have been notified late about the trip, make sure you get as much sleep as you can before you start driving. It will also help if you can take another person with you who also knows how to drive and has a valid license. You can take turns driving and save each other from the strains of driving for too long.

If you're already driving and you feel drowsy or sleepy all of a sudden, it's best to pull over to the side of the road first. You can get out of the car and take a few jumping jacks or maybe even take a walk. You can also drink a shot of an icy cold non-alcoholic beverage or maybe have a snack.

Cars with automatic transmission let your right be hand free from shifting gears. So if you drive an automatic, you can eat some chips every now and then with your free hand to keep you from feeling sleepy.

Just remember that you should only do this when you really need to continue driving and you are unable to pull up to the side of the road, otherwise always keep both hands on the steering wheel. Whatever you do, don't drive while your eyelids are heavy.

signs of drowsiness

Make sure that you are well rested before going on a long trip, especially if you will be the one driving

>>> Read more: Drowsy driving: What are the risks and 10 ways to stay awake.

2. Fuel up

Since we suggested that you should take a bite or a drink when you feel sleepy while driving, we want to point out the importance of your food choice. While most would prefer to grab a snack at the closest drive-thru, we highly suggest that you prepare your own snacks for the journey.

If you had plenty of time before the trip, you can prepare home-made iced candies and keep them in a cooler.

You can make them in small serving sizes so they're easy to eat and the cold temperature will also help keep you awake. Other great food choices for long trips are fruits, trail mixes, and sandwiches.

Drinks are also necessary, and although cold soda and energy drinks sound promising for the weary driver, your body is most likely to appreciate water instead.

Woman packing snacks

Great food choices for long trips are fruits, trail mixes, and sandwiches

3. Utilize your GPS

Your global positioning system was made for a reason, and it's time you make the most out of it. In long-haul drives, you and your passengers may experience that numbing sensation from sitting too long. Trust us, no matter how comfortable your car seats are, they're still in close car space so you will still be uncomfortable in the long run.

Utilize your GPS to find agreeable stops on the road every two-hours. Get everyone out of the car and have them stretch their legs. If you find a good stop-over, you and your company can have frequent comfort room stops.

Man using GPS

Utilize your GPS to find agreeable stops on the road every two-hours

>>> You might want to know: All about GPS Tracking Technology for cars and its benefits.

4. Chew some mint-flavored gum

Keep your mind and oral muscles active by chewing on a piece of gum. It should be a bit minty like peppermint or spearmint to help keep you awake.

The sucking and chewing activity restrain you from feeling drowsy, and the accompanying sweetness and hint of mint encourage you to continue doing it. If chewing gum is unavailable, any candy with a similar flavor will do.

Chewing gum

Keep your mind and oral muscles active by chewing on a piece of gum

5. Get the right car deodorizer

Scents and odors are scientifically proven to affect one's mind. This means that if you can get the right deodorizer on the day of your trip, you can fool your brain to thinking that you're energized even though you're already tired.

car deodorizer

Scents and odors are scientifically proven to affect one's mind

>>> Also check: 8 steps to eliminate odor from your car aircon system.

The most effective scents are those with strong, minty notes but fruity, zesty scents work too. Our suggested scents are those with “lemon”, “eucalyptus” and “menthol” in the variation name.

Alternatively, you can also pack your own menthol rub. These are available almost everywhere and they're small and handy so you can reach it anytime on your dashboard when you feel sleepy.

6. Sit up properly

One major cause of feeling sleepy and exhausted is slouching and sitting in an uncomfortable position. Most drivers slouch or alter their sitting position due to numbness of the nerves which can only be relieved by stretching and taking a short, brisk walk.

Sitting in an odd position doesn't only promote sleepiness and fatigue but also restricts you of quick access to the controls in front of you.

It also compromises your ability to quickly react to emergency situations on the road. If you feel like slouching or sitting in a position that twists your body a little, ultimately stop the car for a while and either take a nap and rest up for a bit.

If you need to continue driving, exercise your legs and stretch your back before hitting the driver's seat.

Woman wearing seat belts

One major cause of feeling sleepy and exhausted is slouching and sitting in an uncomfortable position

7. Make use of your entertainment and multimedia

You don't have to listen to heavy metal and head-banging rock music to get your attention in one piece. You can also listen to your favorite radio station. There are heaps to choose from, and they offer different entertainment skits like news and advice on love, relationships, and even jokes.

infotainment system

Keeping your brain partially occupied deters the thought of fatigue and stress

>>> Worth reading: Best in-car entertainment ideas to fight boredom while in a long drive.

Keeping your brain partially occupied deters the thought of fatigue and stress from eating at your senses and overwhelming you. If you have pop songs that you like to listen to, you can also set your audio system to play that, and maybe you can sing along or so to keep your energy up.

In fact, it doesn't matter what song or audio file you play, as long as you keep the drowsiness away and your passengers aren't against your taste in music, you should be doing good.

Source: Hanna Miel Sanchez