The ultimate guide to long-distance driving August 13th, 2015
Cars are hitting the roads for various vacation destinations as cool summer breezes blow under a bright sun. Before you hop into the car with excitement, remember that prolonged driving can be stressful enough to strain even the best driver’s nerves. Here are some useful tips for long-distance driving to ensure a fun-filled, sun-soaked summer.
Check your vehicle
The one road safety rule is to make sure that your car is in good condition. Get a maintenance check for tire wear, tire pressure and engine & brake oil condition. Also, check that your lights, signals and wiper blades are working properly. Make sure your spare tire is serviceable and be prepared for bad weather. If you plan on traveling with a child, double-check the car seat condition.
Pack emergency items
You never know what may happen during a long, tiring drive. Pack some basic first-aid items, wet wipes, tissues and thin blankets to prepare for any type of emergency or even small mishaps. After all, finding a rest stop or a gas station to buy such items may be harder than you think.
Get sufficient sleep
Lack of sleep is more dangerous than commonly believed; it can impair the brain as much as alcohol can. Sleep-deprived driving is one of the major causes of deadly car accidents. If you are planning on driving for long hours on-end, getting enough sleep the day before is a must.
Plan your route
Heading off to somewhere far away without a plan can be dangerous. Research your routes and check for local events and landmarks that you may want to stop and experience. Plan ahead according to your driving route and make sure that your schedule is flexible enough to accommodate the unexpected.
Take coffee breaks
Driving for hours without stopping can be very tiring. Whenever you feel fatigued, stop the car for a minute and get a nice cup of coffee to clear your head. Get out, breathe in some fresh air and stretch your legs to recharge yourself before getting back on the road. If you need to, take a quick nap in a safe parking location.
Prepare healthy snacks
Take some bite-sized snacks that you can munch on during your ride. Dried berries, fruit jelly or trail mix can be good choices since they are light on sugar and salt. Bringing an ice cooler full of homemade snacks and light juices is a good idea, or make use of the cooling glove box compartment in many Kia vehicles. Remember: heavy snacks with high calories may bring your blood sugar down and easily tire you out.
Bring good music
Upbeat music can dramatically change your mood, adding to your enjoyment during the trip. Play your favorite tunes to keep your mood happy and excited. Music will also help you stay awake and prevent the dangers of drowsy driving.
Buckle your seatbelt
This should go without saying, but it is important enough to say anyway: make sure that everyone in the car keeps his or her seatbelt on at all times. Whether it is a short trip to the mall or a long drive to another state, wearing seatbelts is the number one priority when driving and also the law in many areas.
Into the Sun
Now, with these important tips in mind, relax, enjoy the ride and make the most of your precious summer holidays!