In collaboration with Kwik Fit
Having been on many road trips during my life, both as a driver and passenger, I have found the best way to have a fun experience and enjoy the journey is in a relaxing and safe environment.
There are a few simple and easy measures you can take to ensure you and your car arrive at your destination in one piece. There’s a huge number of precautions you can take, below I have listed 6 that I find useful, there are many more besides these.
Many drivers rely on their phones to use their sat nav or GPS on their phones to help navigate to their destination.
In a Kwik Fit survey, 19% of the surveyed drivers admitted that they sometimes take calls while driving, 17% admit that they read texts off of their phone, and 12% send texts. All of these reasons (including using your sat nav) can result in a penalty if the police pull you over and find that it was distracting you.
You can read more about Kwik Fit’s research into Mobile Phone safety usage findings and initiatives here.
1. Plan your route before you go
Ahead of the road trip, go online to a journey mapping service like Google Maps or Waze and plan which route you will take and the duration of the journey, including any bathroom rest stops. Looking ahead at cafes, restaurants and shops for food breaks are useful to know in advance and will provide comfort on the way for the driver and passengers.
2. Leave plenty of time to reach your destination
Arguably one of the biggest factors. Don’t be rushing to get to your destination. Being tempted to drive erratically or above the speed limit is a guaranteed way to put a dampener on spirits and put you and your passengers in a bad mood. Set off in plenty of time. If the journey is estimated to take a number of hours, leave with extra time to allow for delays, breaks and any unforeseen events. By removing the potential stress of not arriving on time, the journey can be enjoyed and not rushed. A chilled out atmosphere is the aim.
3. Take regular breaks
Taking scheduled breaks will help you avoid tiredness, fatigue and your eyes closing whilst behind the wheel. If possible, switch drivers with other people in the vehicle, that way everyone has chance to unwind as a passenger in addition to having the satisfaction of being in charge of the vehicle and taking everyone to their end destination.
4. Use a helpful sat nav app like Waze
Real time satellite navigation services such as Waze are brilliant. They are updated in current time by other users on the roads. This means they show traffic along the route in current time and provide alternative routes as soon as traffic jams ahead are known; to help you reach your destination quicker. I can’t express how great this free to use app is.
5. Put your phone or sat nav in an appropriate holder
When you first get in your car, set up your phone or sat nav in an appropriate holder, somewhere that it is clearly visible without having to move your gaze too much. Don’t wait until you have started moving to do this.
Ensure your phone is connected via Bluetooth or cable and isn’t rolling around in the centre console and causing a distraction to your driving.
6. Finish your phone activites before you start driving
Complete any urgent calls or send messages before you get in your car to clear your mind of distractions. Have your playlist pre-planned and ready to play through before you set off. This will ensure you don’t get distracted or tempted to start choosing music whilst behind the wheel. Tell people who are likely to call that you are going to be driving, in advance, so the number of incoming phone calls is reduced to a minimum.
Kwik Fit have created a game to test your reaction times called Driven to Distraction, have a go and test out your reaction times.
Do you have any other travel tips to ensure road trips are safe and go smoothly?