While the late days of winter and early days of spring aren't exactly ideal road trip weather, sometimes a long trip in the car is inevitable. No matter what time of year you travel, don't end your trip with an accident and potential injuries. If you're driving long distances, whether this month or in the near future, consider taking these safety tips into account before you begin your journey.
Get Your Beauty Rest
The night before a trip or vacation, it's vital to get a good night's sleep so you are ready for your long drive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving while drowsy was responsible for 72,000 crashes and over 800 deaths in 2013, which are believed to be low estimates. When you're tired, you have slower reaction times, are more likely to swerve into other lanes and can even fall asleep at the wheel. Don't let that happen to you. Plan to sleep 6-8+ hours before your trip.
If you notice you're beginning to become tired while driving, (yawning, hitting the rumble strip or closing your eyes repeatedly) it's best to get off the road immediately. Stop at the next rest area or gas station to stretch your legs, try drinking water, coffee or soda with caffeine and see if that makes you more alert. If these don't help, it is best to switch drivers or stop for the evening.
Pack Your Car Emergency Kit
Many drivers aren't aware of what to include in their car emergency kit. While it may change depending on what time of year it is, here are some general recommendations to include: