Staying Safe on Long Road TripsMay 23, 2019
With summer quickly approaching, many people across the country are planning summer vacations with friends and family. For summer travelers, this may mean packing up the car and taking a road trip. Whether your family enjoys the great outdoors or a city environment, there are a wide range of vacation destinations that you can enjoy without having to hop on a plane. However, if it takes more than just a couple hours to reach your destination, there are some important safety tips you should keep in mind that will help you stay awake and alert during a long road trip.
- Start your trip well-rested: Make sure that you get at least seven hours of sleep the night before your trip. If possible, avoid driving between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Body temperatures are lower at this time, which can cause drowsiness.
- Keep healthy snacks in the car: If you have healthy snack options that are packed with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein, you are less likely to stop for unhealthy fast-food options. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grain items will provide the fuel your body needs to stay alert.
- Drink plenty of water: Dehydration can cause drowsiness. You may need to make frequent bathrooms stops, but this inconvenience is better than the increased risk of getting into an accident because you were dehydrated, tired, and unfocused.
- Keep gum in the car: The simple act of chewing gum can increase circulation and alertness.
- Make frequent stops: This allows you to get out of the car, stretch your muscles, and get some fresh air, all of which helps avoid fatigue and drowsiness.
- Use natural scents: Certain scents, including peppermint and spearmint, provide an all-natural pick-me-up that can reduce fatigue. The minty aroma can also increase alertness. Small, portable, travel-friendly essential oil diffusers can be found online. There is also a wide range of scents available that can help increase alertness.
- Practice good posture: Adjust your car seat so that you are sitting up straight. This can help keep the blood circulating properly. If you feel tension in your back, neck, or anywhere else, take deep breaths and try to stretch those areas the next time you stop.
- Pack entertainment options for the ride: Long drives can become boring and monotonous quickly, particularly for young children. Remember to bring books, puzzles, games, or any other options that will help pass the time.
- Listen to music: To help the driver stay alert and focused on the road ahead, listening to music or audio books can help. For example, laughing at a funny audio book or comedy podcast can keep a driver energized.
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