The Long Distance Drive: 5 Essential Tips to Stay Safe and Sane

No time to read now? Click here to download as a PDF.

A long distance drive gives you the opportunity to enjoy stunning scenery and interesting stops along the way. You’ll have fun with your travel partner (if you have one) as you experience the journey together.

At the same time, there will be stretches where the ride is monotonous and downright exhausting. You might even run into some unexpected problems.

But don’t worry! We’re here to give you some essential tips to make sure you arrive safely — and sanely — when you plan a long drive.

You’ll find the details below.

long distance drive - Canadian rockies

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn important tips to make long distance drives more safe and help keep you sane, including:

  • 5 Thing That Make Long Drives More Safe
  • Insurance Considerations
  • Why Inspect Your Vehicle 
  • Trip Preparedness
  • Should You Use a Navigation System?
  • When to Take a Detour
  • Final Thoughts on Long Distance Drive Safety Tips
  • Next Steps

5 Things You Should Do to Make Your Long Distance Drive Safer

Driving for long periods of time can be accompanied by specific dangers.

That’s why when you plan a long distance drive, you’ll want to take some precautions. Then, you’re better prepared to ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers, and others on the road. 

So, before you embark on a long-distance road trip, create a safety checklist based on the tips below.  

Here are five ways to make long-distance driving safer and more enjoyable.

1. Check with Your Insurance‍

The first and most important thing you should do before you go on your trip is to check your car insurance.

Although there is no special insurance for extended road trips, you should still ensure you have the best coverage for your journey.

Start by finding out how much liability coverage you have, should a common travel accident occur.

If you only carry the minimum liability insurance, then you may be underinsured. This insurance can quickly run out if you are at fault for a severe auto accident.

So, make sure you have the right liability coverage to protect yourself on the road.

If you live in Ontario and plan to go on a long-distance trip, you can click here to find out what are your best coverage options.

Getting professional help from reliable brokerage websites can help you find the most affordable rates that best suit you.  

2. Inspect Your Vehicle 

Another important thing you should do before hitting the highway is to inspect your vehicle. Performing quick car maintenance ensures your car is ready for the adventure.

You can do it yourself or have your mechanic do a more thorough evaluation before your trip.

If you want to do it yourself, start by checking your car’s battery to be sure the connection is tight and corrosion-free.

Then, inspect belts and hoses to ensure your vehicle’s electrical, power steering, and cooling systems are functioning properly.

Don’t forget to check the brakes as well. If you hear any squealing noises, that may be a sign of worn-out brake pads.

If the brake pedal feels spongy when you press it, then you may need to check the level of the brake fluid.

Last but not least, inspect your car’s tire pressure to ensure the tires are properly inflated.

Make sure you make any repairs or maintenance you need to address before your trip. Then, you will feel more confident and less stressful as you drive.

More importantly, going over these automobile safety checks before your long distance drive can save you from mechanical issues along the way.

3. Prepare for Your Long Distance Drive

Preparing for your trip includes everything from packing your bags to bringing snacks and water for the road.

Because you are going on an extended journey, you’ll want to make sure you’re fully hydrated. This is especially true if you are going to be driving under the hot sun.

Try to avoid sugary drinks as they can increase dehydration.

Dress comfortably and in layers, so you can easily adjust your comfort level according to your body temperature.

Don’t forget to bring plenty of snacks with you so you can fight your hunger while driving. This will prevent you from making unnecessary stops when on the road.

Otherwise, your two-day trip could easily turn into three as you will be stopping all the time to get some food and water to stay full and refreshed.

In addition, long-distance trips can get easily boring, so be sure to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music playlists to listen to on your journey.

Don’t forget, your favorite radio station will likely be out of range the further you get from home.

4. Use Navigation

When driving long distances, the last thing you want is to get lost in the middle of nowhere. To avoid this from happening, you should use a navigation system. 

There are many excellent navigation apps that you can choose from. Some of the most commonly preferred ones among drivers include:

  • Google Maps
  • Waze
  • Sygic
  • Komoot
  • HERE WeGo
  • MapQuest.

An example, Google Maps, is one of the most popular navigation apps. It provides road directions, multiple transit routes, and public transportation options.

However, all of these apps have their own benefits and drawbacks. So take some time to research each thoroughly to decide which one will best suit your needs and preferences.

5. Take a Detour to See Something Exciting

You may know everything about your destination and what you want to see along the road if you’ve planed your long distance drive well.

However, you might decide to take a detour.

Going off the plan will give you some time during your trip to pull over and see something new and interesting on your journey. This will be a great way to make your entire trip more enjoyable and memorable. 

The best part is, if you have a navigation system (and a decent WiFi signal), it’s easy to get back on track.

Whether it is a stunning landscape, a famous attraction, or a popular place, make your plan ahead of time so you can see everything you want. Then, be spontaneous and flexible when you discover some new and interesting places to see. 

In fact, those unexpected opportunities often become the most memorable moments in your long distance drive.

Final Thoughts on Taking A Long Distance Drive

Taking a long distance drive is a great adventure, wherever the route happens to be. Just be aware and alert while driving.

Keep in mind that driver fatigue is a real condition and you need to take it seriously. You only want to drive as many miles in a day as your body and mind can handle. For some people, that may be 3-4 hours, for others, longer.

But if you follow the tips above, your long distance drive will be a great experience to remember for many years to come..

Next Steps

If you want to continue learning about road trip planning, read articles on Enjoy Travel Life next:

Safe travels!