Everyone wants to start their vacation right away, but are we taking unnecessary risks on the road? According to Insurance Hunter’s Neglected Driver Survey, 64% of men have continued driving on a road trip when tired and 17% of men surveyed said they hoped they wouldn’t get into an accident and kept driving even though they were exhausted. It is possible to avoid driver fatigue by following a few travel safety tips.
Most of our family trips are by road and some destinations are quite far. Like many families surveyed, we ensure we’re ready for the trip ahead of time, packing snacks for the kids (94%) and ensuring the kids will be entertained on the drive down (89%). Everything is about keeping the kids content so we can push the drive a little further.
“We know people across Ontario are anxious to get to their holiday destinations as quickly as possible, but they have to start prioritizing the driver’s needs,” says Gail Robertson, Road Safety Ambassador, Insurance Hunter. “Small changes to an individual’s driving routine, such as stopping for driver breaks, switching drivers regularly, and not relying on coffee to keep the driver alert will greatly increase everyone’s safety on the roads this summer.”
Avoid driver fatigue on your next family road trip by following these 6 travel safety tips:
Get a good night sleep before hitting the road – You want to start your holiday right away so heading out on your road trip right after a hectic day at work may feel like you’re getting a jump on things. Try instead to get a good night’s sleep and head out on the road fresh the next morning. A smart travel time is between 6 a.m. and noon.
Add some buffer time – Instead of focusing the drive on getting to your destination, make it part of your vacation. Allow for some extra time for the drive and include interesting stops along the way.
Stop for breaks even if you are not tired – Drivers should take a break before they feel driver fatigue setting in. Every few hours plan a short break to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Driving for an extended period of time without breaking is dangerous for everyone in your car and surrounding cars. If you have a full day of driving, plan at least one longer rest stop.
Don’t rely on caffeine to keep you alert – It is tempting to drink a large coffee or a caffeinated pop when you begin to feel drowsy but this is not a wise choice. Although caffeine provides a temporary spike in energy, it actually reduces your energy level. A short rest break may be all you require to help you feel alert.
Eat healthy and often – When traveling on the road with your family, grabbing a quick bite of burger and fries sounds like a good idea but it can work against you, making you feel tired. Instead enjoy healthy snacks every few hours to keep your energy up.
Let your spouse handle the children – No matter how prepared you are to keep the kids entertained in the car, they are bound to act up due to excitement, fatigue, and confinement. Your spouse, the one not doing the driving, should handle the kids both in the car and out of the car on stops. This ensures the driver can stay focused on the task of driving.
Following these 6 simple travel safety tips will help you avoid driver fatigue and get your family vacation off to great start.
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This post was sponsored by InsuranceHunter.ca.