Summer is the season of family road trips and at Safe Drive Systems, we want to keep you and your family safe as you travel. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when preparing for a long family drive, so here are a few tips to make your trip safe and fun for the entire family.
1. Sleep, don’t caffeinate.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found drowsy driving is a factor in nearly 100,000 crashes every year. It is important to get a good night’s sleep before driving anywhere, but especially before a road trip. Road trips can be exhausting for drivers dealing with navigation in unfamiliar areas, noisy kids, and long driving hours. It is always best to be alert and well rested when taking a road trip. People who are well rested are more alert in the morning and often roads will have less traffic early in the day. This means that going to bed and heading out early will make for a safer, more enjoyable trip.
If you do find yourself getting drowsy along the way, caffeine is not always the best solution. A large coffee or energy drink may make you feel more alert immediately, but as the affect wears off, you may start to lose focus while retaining the illusion of being fully awake and alert.
2. Share the burden.
The ideal situation for lengthy road trips is having multiple available drivers. This allows you to take a break from driving and hand responsibility over to a fresh, alert driver. You should switch drivers every few hours, whether or not the driver thinks they are getting drowsy, to ensure that a well rested driver is behind the wheel.
Driving is not the only burden of road trips. Having a responsible companion, whether or not they are available to drive, is always a good safety measure. A driving companion will be able to keep an eye out and let you know if you seem drowsy or distracted and need to take a break from driving. A road trip companion will also be able to take care of things that could be potential distractions for a driver.
3. Prep the family car.
Before putting your car and your family through a long drive, you want to make sure your car is in good condition. This means going in for a tune-up – having the oil changed, the climate control system, tires, cooling system, steering and suspension, battery, and fluids all checked by a trusted mechanic. Experts suggest doing this at least a week before you plan to depart, to give yourself time to deal with any unforeseen issues. Make sure your car is equipped to deal with any potential weather or emergency situations. The NHTSA recommends packing a kit which includes jumper cables, a spare tire, first aid kit, warm blankets, a water supply, and other emergency supplies.
Whether you’re driving down the street or across the country, installing Safe Drive Systems’ RD-140 System will give you the visual and auditory aid to keep your family safe. To learn more, contact Safe Drive Systems today.