Whether it’s a cross-country road trip, work commitment, or a weekend drive to visit family and friends, long-distance driving can come with a number of challenges and things to remember before, during and after travel. Long drives require a unique set of skills, planning, and preparation to ensure safety and enjoyment throughout the journey.
Covering the vehicle itself and all passengers involved, here are some top tips and essentials for long-distance driving.
Tips when driving long distances
Long-distance driving can seem stressful to some, whilst others might even consider it a hobby or take on a job role where these journeys are necessary. But like any car journey, there are always things to check and prepare before setting off.
- Prepare your vehicle: Before embarking on any drive, but a long one specifically, ensure your vehicle is prepared and ready to go. Essential things to check would be the tire pressure, engine oil, brakes, and lights, which come together to create a safe, comfortable driving experience. If you’re going on a really long drive or will be driving for a few weeks at a time, consider scheduling a maintenance check-up. Have a read through our road trip checklist for more information on preparing your vehicle.
- Plan your route: Take the time to plan your route in advance in order to avoid congestion, construction zones, motorway incidents or road closures. You can also take this opportunity to find more scenic routes and landmarks. Make sure you have devices which can help along the way such as a satnav or mobile app including any charging systems for these.
- Rest well: Driving can use up a lot of energy so a good night’s sleep is crucial before undertaking a long drive to avoid fatigue, slow reaction times and lack of concentration. On particularly long drives, you may also want to consider finding a place to sleep or rest to give your body and mind a chance to re-energise.
- Stay hydrated: Long drives can be dehydrating, so make sure to have a bottle of water to hand plus any healthy snacks. If you forget or use these quickly, spare some time to stop off at a shop and restock.
- Take regular breaks: Long periods of sitting and concentrating can cause fatigue and discomfort. When driving a long distance, plan frequent breaks every two to three hours to stretch your legs, refuel and get fresh air.
- Stay entertained and engaged: There’s no doubt that long-distance driving can become tiring and boring, but to combat the boredom make sure to prepare and take things that will keep you entertained. For example, create a playlist, download a podcast, listen to an audiobook or play games with the passengers if there are any.
- Keep an eye on the weather: The weather can have huge impacts on driving including the measures and reaction times or even possible route changes. Checking the forecast before you set off will ensure you and your vehicle is prepared and the journey is as safe as possible, especially if it’s raining or snowing. Find out more on driving in the snow through our blog here.
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