Memorial Day is only a few weeks away, and that traditionally kicks off the early round of summer vacations for families everywhere. After all, the weather is usually mild, the kids are usually out of school and almost everyone is looking forward to a break from their routine.
However, vacation usually means a long trip in the car – and that can be rough on the driver. Here are some tips that can help you stay alert:
Don’t start out ridiculously early
Short of an absolute necessity, is it really worth getting up at 5 a.m. to start your trip? Pack the car the night before, have all the kids lay out their clothes for the morning, and wake up at your normal time, so you don’t feel drowsy and fatigued before you even start.
Split the driving duties
Unless you’re taking the kids somewhere on your own, there’s no reason not to share the driving duties with your spouse. You can plan out “trade-off” points at rest stops or restaurants so that each person can get some rest during the trip.
Load up on the caffeine
Keep a few bottles of soda in the car as a backup to help keep fatigue at bay (because the double jolt of sugar and caffeine will definitely help), and be liberal about drinking coffee and tea while you travel. The extra caffeine can help you stay alert on the road when it gets quiet.
Take plenty of breaks
Stop for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any needed breaks along the way to stretch your legs and recharge. There’s no prize for making the trip in record time, so don’t even try. A leisurely journey will take a lot less out of the driver and make for a better trip.
Drowsy driving is a major problem on our nation’s highways. It’s estimated to cause roughly 100,000 crashes every year, leaving 1,550 deaths in its wake and more than 71,000 injuries. No matter how careful you are, you can become the victim of another person’s mistakes. If that happens, make sure you understand your right to compensation.