Summer is in full swing and so are long drives to get away. Planning in advance can make it a lot easier, but this doesn’t just involve the packing. There is a term called “highway hypnosis” that occurs when driving on open highways for an extended period of time. The driver operates the vehicle in a drowsy, dulled, trance-like state. In fact, more than 60% of drivers admit that they’ve gotten behind the wheel drowsy. With all the danger that can come with driving tired there are things you can do to prepare for the long drive and feel confident you’re not putting yourself, your family and others in a dangerous situation.
Tips for Families About to Start a Long Drive in Car
1. Bank some sleep. The best way to avoid exhaustion before a long trip is to get extra sleep. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep for two back-to-back nights before the trip. People are naturally more drowsy between 1 and 3 in the afternoon due to a lower body temperature, so avoid driving during these hours if you can.
2. Fuel up. You need fuel just like your car does. Snack on healthy food throughout a long drive and try to skip junk food and fast food. Almonds and carrots are a great choice for a healthy snack.
3. Hydrate. For maximum energy, make sure you have lots of water on hand. The only bad thing about this is you’ll need to stop more often to go to the bathroom!
4. Plan stops. Experts suggest that drivers should stop every two hours or so to stretch their legs and is a crucial tip for long drives. Try and plan these stops to check out interesting views and during mealtimes.
5. Chew gum. Chewing gum is a great way to increase circulation and alertness because it’s a repetitive process.
6. Utilize scents. The scent of peppermint is good to have on a long-distance drive. If you need a burst of energy, take a sniff. Peppermint is an all-natural pick-me-up and that increases alertness and fights fatigue.
7. Sit up straight. The driver’s seat should be positioned for maximum blood flow. Make sure you sit up and adjust yourself when you start to feel like you’re in a trance behind the wheel.
8. Entertainment. We all remember long trips with siblings. Boredom almost always leads to bickering and can aggravate the driver. Make sure you have things to keep kids entertained and plan on games that the whole family can get involved in, like spotting license plates.
9. Sounds for the driver. Keeping the brain active is beneficial for the driver. Consider books on tape to keep the brain alert without adding distractions. Comedy tapes work great because laughter will keep you awake.
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The last thing you want is to have an accident ruin a summer get away. Keep these tips in mind to ensure a fun and safe summer. Priceless Towing offers towing and emergency roadside assistance. We’re here to help whenever you have an issue with your car!