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Vacation Driving Tips
July 19, 2018
If you live in Ohio, it might be surprising that the vast majority of major accidents actually occur in the summer when weather is clear and the roads aren’t covered in ice and snow. Even though there’s no winter weather for drivers to contend with though, the open road of a warm summer’s day and vacation travel draws many times more vehicles to the roads. Combine that with travelers often driving in unfamiliar areas or in bigger vehicles they rented for trips, and it’s a recipe for accidents of all sorts. Over the past decade, nearly 33,000 people have died, on average, each July in automobile accidents. By following these basic tips, you can get where you’re going safely and keep yourself out of the statistics:
- Get plenty of sleep. If you’re like a lot of us, you like to start a road trip as early as possible. Even with a full day’s driving ahead, putting as many miles behind you as possible before lunch makes the trip seem like it’s much shorter. If you can get to bed 1000 miles away from where you woke up, it feels like you’ve maximized your vacation time by minimizing your days spent driving. Don’t, however, let the allure of an early start come at the cost of a full night’s rest the night before. It can be hard to get to bed before a big trip- there’s plenty of packing and preparing to do and it never seems like it’s quite done til you’re about to leave. But if you’re the driver, delegate as much prep work as possible to someone who is fine sleeping at the beginning of the trip. Let someone else stay up late for you. Driving while sleepy is nearly as dangerous as driving while drunk. It only takes a second of dozing to cause a major accident and derail not just your trip but your entire life.
- Take breaks. It’s tempting to power through and get as far as possible as fast as possible, but the longer you’re driving without a break, the easier it is to get sleepy or distracted. If you’re on a long road trip, give yourself the breaks to explore the area little- stop at a new restaurant, check out a campy roadside attraction, find something goofy at a truck stop. Whatever it is, just make sure you’re taking breaks every few hours in order to break up the monotony of a long trip.
- Break up the duties. It might be tempting to think you’re an iron man driver, capable of driving long distances without breaks and without yielding, but it’s unrealistic and can lead to disastrous consequences. Whenever possible, let another driver handle stretches of the drive. After 4 or 5 hours, it’s natural for your body to need a rest- either a nap while someone else drives or just doing something apart from driving will leave you refreshed and ready to tackle the next leg of your driving responsibilities.
- Caffeinate. Coffee and tea combined more than double the next most popular prepared beverage in the world by sales. There’s a reason for that. Use them to get to where you’re going alive, alert, awake, and ready for vacation.
If you follow these tips, along with normal safe driving habits, you’ll get to your destination safely and ready to take a break from your busy work life. Enjoy!
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