drive safe

Get there happy: keeping alert and safe when commuting long distances

According to recent statistics, there were no fewer than 24,470 vehicular accidents across the United Kingdom which led to death or serious injuries in 2020 alone (1). It is therefore clear to see that safety is paramount if you hope to avoid a life-changing scenario. While some accidents may occur when driving short distances, long-term commutes increase the chances that a mistake will be made.

What steps can you take to ensure that you are alert and cognisant of your surroundings at all times? Are there any professional suggestions to keep in mind? As this is a very important topic, let us examine some tips and tricks.

The Dangers of Fatigue

Perhaps the most important rule is to never get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you feel tired. Mental and physical fatigue contribute to countless accidents every year. This is particularly the case in terms of those who are required to drive long distances as a profession (such as lorry operators). It is instead better to reschedule the journey. If you begin to feel tired in the midst of a trip, pull over into a rest area until you are refreshed.

The Buddy System

Bringing along a passenger is another wise strategy. Extra company can provide you with the mental stimulation that is often required when traversing considerable distances (2). Furthermore, a companion will be able to offer additional help such as providing directions if you happen to be entering an unfamiliar area. A final takeaway point is that a passenger can take over driving if you happen to feel tired.

Timely Breaks

Many drivers make the mistake of attempting to “push through” a long journey in a single session. This habit can induce fatigue and once again, increase your chances of becoming involved in an accident. It is prudent to plan a short rest at least once every two hours. This will help to stave off lethargy and you can avoid scenarios such as muscular cramps that might otherwise occur.

Snack When Needed

Snacking is yet another strategy which long-haul drivers utilise. We are not necessarily referring to fast food in this case. However, light meals such as a piece of fruit or a bag of trail mix can provide your body with a much-needed boost of energy at the appropriate time.

Check the Condition of Your Vehicle

We need to remember that issues can occur when travelling great distances; particularly in relation physical issues with the tyres, suspension and brakes. Examine all pertinent mechanical elements before the journey begins. If you suspect that a problem is present, do not delay. Take your vehicle to a local garage so that potentially dangerous issues can be rectified. This brings us to the final point.

Consider a New Vehicle

Even modern cars will need to be replaced due to simple wear and tear. In the event that you are in the market for a new vehicle intended for long-distance driving, be sure to speak with the team at Sell My Car Essex. We will be happy to provide you with a hassle-free (and accurate) valuation with the help of a user-friendly online form. After entering a vehicle registration number and a handful of other basic details, you will be sent this valuation by email. It is then possible to schedule a real-time visit with one of our representatives.

Are you considering a newer vehicle that can safely handle the open road? If so, please obtain a free valuation by Sell My Car Essex. Safety and convenience should never be taken for granted.