Getting there is half the fun of a road trip vacation. It’s also half the hassle. Plenty of distractions both inside and outside your vehicle can take your attention from the road. Fellow travelers, traffic congestion, road construction and detours, ringing cell phones, unfamiliar roads, and loud music are just a few distractions you might encounter. While you can expect some distractions, you can also counter them with safe driving techniques to help you keep your focus.
The best way to stay focused while driving is to avoid fatigue. Schedule your trip to allow for frequent breaks. Stopping for food or beverages, taking time to pull over at a rest stop just to stretch your legs, staying overnight at a motel or local bed-and-breakfast, and sharing the driving are all good strategies for avoiding fatigue and staying alert behind the wheel.
Avoid Bad Driver Behaviors
The focus of any driver, at all times, should be driving. Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction. Distracted driving can be anything that pulls your attention away from driving. The most obvious forms of distraction are cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, and using in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices.
Set down some safety rules with your co-drivers before you hit the road. These rules should include refraining from activities that take your eyes and attention off the road. Insist that your co-drivers agree to make every effort to move to a safe place off of the road before using a cell phone—even in an emergency.
Buckle Up America. Every Trip. Every Time.
Everybody aboard must agree to wear their seat belts every time they are riding or driving in your vehicle. If you’re not buckled up, you could be thrown through a window, sent skidding along the pavement, or be crushed under a vehicle in a crash. Wearing a seat belt is also the best defense against a drunk-driving crash.
Every 45 minutes and 32 times a day, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-impaired-driving crash. Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out.