Before the Trip
Before your long drive, make sure you get plenty of sleep – at least eight hours. Pack a roadside emergency kit that includes blankets, spare clothes, flashlights, first-aid kit, snacks, water, road flares, tire chains, and cat litter for winter driving. Review how to change a spare tire and how to jump-start your car properly. Make sure you have jumper cables and tools for changing a flat tire.
Take Lots of Breaks
The ideal drive will have another licensed driver in the passenger seat with you so when you get tired, you can switch drivers. If you are the only one able to drive, however, you will need to take frequent breaks. The kids need breaks, too. Letting them watch movies the whole way will leave their legs feeling stiff. It is ideal to take a break every two to three hours.
Avoid Drowsy Substances
You should always avoid alcohol if you intend to drive, but also check your medications to make sure they won’t impair you as well. Some prescription medications could cause drowsiness or even register on a breathalyzer test if you get pulled over. This could land you with an arrest for driving while intoxicated, meaning you’ll be looking for a DWI attorney rather than reaching your destination.
Lastly, if you find yourself feeling fatigued as you are driving, be sure to pull over completely off the road and get some rest. Driving fatigued proves to be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. The same is true for using a cell phone. Avoid any distractions that take your eyes and mind off the road and your hands off the steering wheel.