Driving tips for long journeys
Prep the car
On a long journey, you're expecting a lot from your car - especially if you don't usually drive so far. Give yourself a fighting chance.
Check everything's topped up
At the very least, check your tyre pressure, fuel, oil and water before you set off. These are the most common things to give you car trouble on your way, so make sure you tick them off.
Breaking down on Christmas eve? Missing your little sister's graduation? Not the one.
Pack a car kit
Have a route worked out
Use Google Maps or your satnav - but also use your actual mind. Having an awareness of the general route means you're in a much better position to find an alternative if your way is blocked by traffic.
A survey we did found 58% of people felt calmer in the car when they had plenty of time to complete their journey. Don't push it to the limit - leave as much time as you can for all the little things that always go wrong.
Keep a map in your car
Yep, even if you have a satnav. You can't always rely on a fancy machine to get you out of a tricky situation.
Check the weather forecast
Before you leave. Bad weather makes everything slower and can even close off certain roads. If you don't know it's coming, getting stuck in major traffic is going to put a big dent in your travel time.
Plan on getting a good night's sleep before a long journey and avoid driving between midnight and 6am. You naturally feel like you should be sleeping, and that's a bad mental state to be in.
If you're driving for hours at a time, factor in 15 minute breaks every 2 hours. It's the minimum rest you need to stay alert.
If you start feeling drowsy at any time, stop at the next services to walk around. Think coffee will get you through? Nope - it'll just put the inevitable off for a brief time.
Summer or winter, there are things you need with you on a long journey:
|Summer trip list||Winter trip list||All the time|
|Sunglasses||Warm clothes||Jump leads|
|Sun cream||Ice scraper||Sweeties|
So many things to go wrong: traffic, weather, missed turnings - do yourself a favour and get as much planned as you can before you set off.
Don't drive tired
Driving after a long day or a late night has some pretty bad side effects: drowsiness, irritability, inattention...it's quite a lot like drink driving to be honest.