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Stay comfortable and alert on road trips

Few car enthusiasts can resist the siren song of the open road. When the open road beckons, answering its call can open the door to adventure and unending possibilities.

Road trips tend to dwindle when winter arrives, and for good reason. Wet, wintry conditions can make roads more dangerous and compromise motorists’ visibility. Many drivers wisely avoid the roads as much as possible in winter, and statistics on crash deaths reflect that caution. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, July, a month when many people take to the road on summer vacations, had the most crash deaths of any month in 2017, while February, a month when drivers traditionally stay home, had the fewest.

Such statistics underscore the importance of staying comfortable and alert behind the wheel. As motorists prepare to hit the road again this spring, they should keep these tips in mind to ensure their road trips are as safe as they are adventurous.

Get ample rest, even if that means making frequent stops. Drivers should build frequent stops and nightly rest into their road trips. Doing so can help to combat the drowsiness that develops when spending long hours behind the wheel staring at the road ahead. Drivers should pay attention to how they’re feeling and pull over if their eyes begin to feel heavy or their minds begin to wander. Each of these are signs of fatigue that could prove deadly to drivers, their passengers and fellow motorists.

Share driving duties. Sharing driving duties is a great way to reduce driving-related eye strain. The Vision Council notes that driving requires the eyes to stay in constant motion as they focus and refocus on approaching objects. Eyes also are in constant contention with distractions like oncoming headlights or the glare of the sun. These factors combine to strain the eyes. As drivers spend more and more time behind the wheel, their eyes become tired and their vision becomes less reliable. Sharing driving duties can ensure a fresh set of eyes is behind the wheel at all times.

Maintain proper posture. Proper posture can make drivers less susceptible to the aches and pains that can develop during long car trips. In addition, the auto insurance provider Geico® notes that studies have shown that proper posture, which involves sitting an appropriate distance from the steering wheel, makes drivers less likely to suffer severe injuries to the head, neck and chest in front- and rear-end collisions.

Road trips make for great getaways. By taking steps to remain comfortable and alert behind the wheel, drivers can make road trips that much more enjoyable.

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