While you could have a road traffic accident even on a short trip, embarking on a long road trip does somewhat increase your risk of being injured in a road accident. Here are the top five safety tips for long journeys.
Before embarking on a long road trip, plan your route thoroughly to avoid stressful situations trying to find your way causing a motoring accident. Even satnavs occasionally get it wrong, so take a good road map with you. Next, make sure you check that:
- Your tyres are in good condition and inflated properly (find correct pressure levels for different loads in your car’s handbook)
- All fluids (oil, coolant, brake fluid, washer/wiper) are topped up
- Your fuel tank is full
- All lights (front and rear) are working
For extremely long journeys, it may be advisable to have a qualified mechanic check your car over. You should also consider joining a breakdown service prior to embarking on a long road trip.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep and eat a little something (avoid heavy meals, though, as they can quickly cause you to feel sleepy) before embarking on a long road trip.
Prevent having a fatigue-related car accident by having breaks at least every two hours, even if you do not feel tired. Get a little fresh air, stretch your legs and grab a snack and/or a drink. Remember never to drink any alcohol before or during your trip. A single drink may not leave you feeling intoxicated but it could make you sleepy.
Combat fatigue and resulting vehicle collisions by sharing driving responsibilities with another driver. Should you be driving alone, keep awake by opening the window a little, turning on some music and not using your cruise control (concentrating on adhering to speed limits helps staying awake).
Finally, if there is an emergency and you do have to pull over:
- Switch on your hazard lights
- Move as far out of the way of traffic as possible
- Exit the vehicle on the passenger side
- Move passengers out of and away from the car and traffic to prevent anyone being hit by another vehicle
- Call for help
If you do get hurt in a car crash and someone else was responsible, you could be entitled to driver or passenger injury compensation. Call us on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 (from telephones or mobiles respectively) to find out how to claim.
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown