When you set out on a road trip, you set up a few stops along the way but planned to get all 12 hours knocked out in a single day. In your mind, it would be fairly easy to sit down and drive the first six hours. Then, you’d take a break before getting back on the road. With a few minor stops for gas or rest added in when needed, you thought that it would be simple to get where you were going quickly and easily.
Did you know that driving long hours like this could greatly increase your risk of a collision, though? Sitting for hours on end isn’t good for you, and you may end up tired or distracted as the hours continue.
Long-distance driving is a risk
You have the best intentions when you get behind the wheel, but it’s still a tiring act. You may become drowsy after several hours without stopping, so it’s a good idea to plan for rest breaks and to take a nap or grab a coffee if you’re starting to forget how you got where you are on the road.
It’s normal to get tired after a few hours of driving, so consider taking breaks every 100 or 200 miles, getting out of your vehicle to walk around and get a bite to eat. On that note, eating at regular intervals, and choosing healthy options, should be a priority while you’re on the road.
Accident risks are also higher when you’re traveling long distance because you’re on the road more and are more likely to make a mistake behind the wheel. Your judgment may become impaired, and your reflexes may be fatigued.
Medical emergencies are also more likely the more time you spend behind the wheel. Blood clots, lightheadedness and blood pressure issues are all possible if you sit for hours on end.
Getting to your destination safely is vital. If you’re planning for a long drive, consider splitting it up. Take breaks to get up and walk around. Plan to stay overnight at a hotel to get rest on a long drive, or alternate with another driver to help take off some of the stress of driving alone.