Road trips are one of the best ways to travel. You have more freedom, you avoid overpriced airport snacks, and you can sing along to the music without judgement. If you’re roadtripping in Canada, you might have some long drives ahead of you. Long drives are all part of the fun, but there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re staying safe on the road. Keep reading for tips about to make your long-distance drive safer.
Stay safe by planning ahead
Part of the fun of road trips is having the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, just a bit of planning will make the trip more relaxing and enjoyable. Here are a few things you can do before you leave:
- Plan a general route ahead of time. This will allow you to check where the gas stations are along the way, so you don’t run out in the middle of nowhere!.
- Bring a paper map – yes, they still make these. If your GPS malfunctions, you’ll be happy you brought it. Look at the map before you leave to familiarize yourself with the area in which you are travelling.
- Scout out the attractions along the way. You don’t need to plan everything out, but make a note of things you don’t want to miss! You may also schedule time for detours and last-minute stops in case you pass a fruit stand or a funky antique shop.
Get enough sleep
A crucial part of staying safe on the road is making sure you’re well rested. (Despite what you might have heard, coffee is not a replacement for sleep!) A study from AAA found that drivers who are tired can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers, and missing one to two hours of sleep can double your risk of being involved in a car crash.
Here are some tips that can help you stay rested, stay safe and avoid fatigue on the road:
- Get at least seven hours of sleep the night before you leave.
- Take a break every two hours.
- Drive with a friend so you can take turns at the wheel.
- Bring healthy snacks that won’t make you tired such as fruit and nuts.
Plan entertainment for the road
If you’re on an especially long road trip, you might get bored looking at the scenery after a while – especially if it’s all the same. Having a few car-safe activities in your back pocket can help you stay safe and alert. Here are a few ideas:
- Car games! Everyone loves a car game. You can go with the classics like I Spy or 20 Questions. These games can help keep you alert while you also keep your eyes on the road. Check out our previous blog post for more fun road trip game ideas.
- Download a podcast before you go. Podcasts are entertaining and you can choose your genre – from hilarious to gripping and addictive - like the first season of Serial where they try to solve a murder. Here are a few podcasts that would be great for a long road trip:
- Take advantage of one of the best parts of a road trip: singing at the top of your lungs with no complaints to the flight attendant! Make an awesome playlist before you leave and have a concert in your car.
Inspect your vehicle before you leave
Before you hit the road, take time to do some basic preventative maintenance:
- Check tire pressure
- Check the oil and other fluids
- Prepare an emergency car kit
- Check all lights including brake lights
More details on this topic are available in our blog post: Car maintenance tips for your road trip.
Check your insurance before you leave
If you’re going out of province or out of country, call your insurance broker before you leave and share the details of your trip to ensure you have the right coverage. A quick chat with your broker will help determine if you have the coverage you need, and you can purchase additional car insurance coverage if needed.
Get the right car insurance with BrokerLink
Car insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. Give BrokerLink a call and our insurance experts will help you find insurance that makes sense for you. Give us a call, visit one of our branches or do a quote online.
Long distance driving FAQs
How much can you go over the speed limit in Canada?
You should always drive the posted speed limit to ensure you’re driving safe. Speeding can result in fines and demerit points.
How often should you stop when driving long distances?
You should take a break every two hours when driving. Try to drive with a friend so you can take turns at the wheel.
Is long distance driving bad for your car?
A long distance drive isn’t necessarily bad for your car. If you do proper maintenance before you leave, like check fluids and tire pressure, your car should be fine. Humans need to rest more than machines do, so make sure you take a break every two hours!