ATLANTA, GA / ACCESSWIRE / August 28, 2019 / Contrary to common belief, driving long-distance can be more hazardous than driving around your town or city. While long-distance routes don’t require the frequent stops and halts signaled by stop signs or red lights, speed limits are generally much faster and the hours that stretch out ahead of you can become very long and tiring, increasing the risk for an accident.
Whether dropping your kids off at college, taking that last summer road trip, or gearing up for holiday travel, safety and alertness should always be in the front seat. A leading provider of automotive insurance, AssuranceAmerica has found that a few simple yet critical reminders can help you stay safe on any road trip.
Be prepared. Before embarking on your road trip, take your car in for a checkup. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you shouldn’t rely solely on the general maintenance - have a mechanic check your oil, tire pressure, and brakes as well as the coolant, wipers, wiper fluid, and exterior lights.
It’s also important to set up your GPS and plan your stops ahead of time, such as when you’ll need to fill up your fuel tank. This preparation will prevent the need to meddle with the GPS while driving, allowing full attention to be directed to the road. When you’re driving with children in the car, having the proper car seats for the age and size of each child is imperative. Additionally, when packing your car in preparation for a trip with rear passengers, make sure you stow heavier items lower in the car so that they don’t go flying in the event of a sudden stop.
Stay alert. It goes without saying but avoid distractions as much as possible on your road trip. The most frequent form of a distraction is cell phone use, but when driving long distances, it’s equally likely to be drowsiness.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), each day about nine people die and more than 1,000 are injured in car accidents caused by a distracted driver. Additionally, the NHTSA reported that there were 91,000 accidents involving drowsy driving in 2017. Getting a good night’s sleep (at least seven hours) the day before your trip can help reduce drowsiness during the drive. If you’re driving with children, make sure you have snacks packed and activities planned to keep them busy, and if you have the urge to pull your attention from the road, pull off at an exit. Don’t pull over on the highway if you can avoid it as pulling into a parking lot is much safer.
Use cruise control. Driving on highways requires navigating faster speeds, more cars, semi-trailers and trucks, and potentially un-signaled lane changes -- all resulting in less reaction. You can keep yourself and your passengers safe by driving on cruise control, which assists in maintaining a law-abiding speed. It is important to note that cruise control works best between speeds of 55 and 70 miles per hour. In all cases, do not exceed the speed limit.
Compared to booking a flight and traveling by plane, driving to a destination is often an easier, more cost-effective, and more scenic option for many travelers. While there is the added pressure to stay awake and remain highly aware of your surroundings while driving, keeping these tips top of mind will put you on the road to a great trip.
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