Off on a staycation or further abroad with your car? We have come up with a few handy tips below on how you can handle long trips when you're in the driving seat.
While it is important to rest up after your trip, it is just as essential to get in some good shut-eye before you start your journey, with experts suggesting at least 8 hours. According to the RSA, it is estimated that driver fatigue is a contributory factor in as many as 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland every year. Furthermore, tiredness-related collisions are three times more likely to be fatal or result in a severe injury. If you feel tired, follow the RSA's advice below:
• Stop for a short break and take a nap
• Grab a cup of coffee
• Get some fresh air and take a small walk.
There is nothing worse than setting off on your adventure only to have your car break down half-way. We recommend that a week before your trip that you check your car's fluid levels, brakes, tires, and anything else that could cause problems. If in doubt with anything, give your mechanic a visit who will double check it for you. A few wrappers or empty bottles lying around? Now is the best time to spring clean because your mess might not be bad now, but it might get worse with extra people in your car.
If you can, share the driving responsibilities with someone else. This will allow you to keep an eye on each other while driving and enable you to nap or take in the scenery without losing time. If you're driving alone, remember the RSA guidelines as above and try not to use cruise control on your car to prevent any accidents.
While it sounds great just hopping into a car and driving off into the sunset, we recommend that you plan out your journey - Is there somewhere to stop on the way? What is the best route? Speed limits? Also consider if you're travelling with other people that they may want to stop and get food, stretch their legs or explore their surroundings.
We're not saying suck all the fun out of your trip and have a locked in scheduled but the more familiar you are with your surroundings, the less trouble you will get into.
Long periods in a car —especially with children, can often be tiring in itself. So, make sure children are entertained with iPads, books and other time-killing diversions. Want to get everyone involved? Get a round of eye spy from the window or another car game to keep everyone entertained.
Driving by yourself can get lonely also, so we recommend popping in an audiobook or listening to one of your favourite podcasts to keep you sane on the drive. Our recommendations are The Blindboy Podcast, Popsessed or West Cork.
Have a great trip!