Every year, the French travel an average of 2,589 kilometers to find their vacation haven (figure Auto Europe). However, even if the road is long, driving behavior is not always their strong point: 82% of drivers regularly exceed the speed limit, while 64% do not respect the two-hour break. If you've decided to travel long distances by car, here are 6 tips to travel with peace of mind and avoid the vacations turning into a nightmare.
Checking the vehicle at the garage
Some vehicle checks are optional but can save your life on long trips. First and foremost, you should choose your tires carefully and check their pressure and wear to limit the risk of accidents. As well as the tires, the braking system should also be checked before leaving for a long trip. Finally, it is also advisable to have the following components diagnosed:
- shock absorbers,
- air conditioning,
- liquid levels...
Wear a comfortable outfit
You have to keep in mind that a long trip implies spending several hours sitting on your seat. You will therefore need comfortable and appropriate clothing: skip the jeans and opt for flowing pants, jogging pants and a loose-fitting t-shirt.
Taking care of your visual comfort
For long trips, you should wear a correction adapted to your eyesight to avoid fatigue, as well as a pair of sunglasses (if possible anti-reflective) with adapted lenses, to avoid any discomfort linked to luminosity and glare. Of course, when driving, you must take care of your eyes and keep them moist by fluttering your eyelids.
Optimize visibility on the route
During the final inspection of the vehicle, do not hesitate to clean the windows and mirrors, as well as the condition of the windshield and windshield wipers. At the same time, you should take the time to adjust your headlights and change your bulbs if necessary.
Properly load your vehicle
There is no need to wait until the day of departure to load your luggage, knowing that the heaviest luggage should be placed in the lowest trunk of the vehicle. All luggage should be securely stowed in the trunk and the passenger compartment.
Purchase and use all mandatory equipment
A high-visibility vest, which is essential when getting out of the vehicle in case of an emergency, is one of the most important pieces of equipment to ensure safety. The same goes for the warning triangle, the approved breathalyzer, the spare tire and a complete set of bulbs and fuses. It is also necessary to have a powder extinguisher, a flashlight and survival blankets as well as a first aid kit.
On the list of optional equipment are the accessories that you will choose according to your activities:
- bike rack,
- trunk and roof racks,
- necklace for small naps,
You can also find a radar detector on this site to avoid being flashed.
Do not forget your identity papers
It seems obvious, but with the preparations for the trip, an oversight is quickly made after having well prepared your suitcases. If possible, make a checklist of all your important paperwork and always make sure that you have in your bag, car papers, identity card, passport, family booklets, health booklets, papers concerning accommodation reservations...
To behave responsibly
Safety rules must always be respected when driving: fasten your seatbelt and that of all passengers, do not exceed the speed limit, respect the safety distances, take the recommended breaks...
Coping with hot weather
Drink a lot of water and refresh yourself regularly with a spray bottle, adjust the air conditioning to maintain the difference between the inside and outside temperatures. Don't hesitate to take more breaks to spare your body and your vehicle, by parking in the shade, and why not, by installing a sunshade.
Get familiar with your travel applications
Just like the vehicle's equipment, it is important to become familiar with your GPS and to set your destination beforehand. Some applications are essential to warn you of traffic jams, road works, traffic accidents or potential dangers on the road.
Keeping your children occupied on the way
The road seems even more tedious for the youngest, who must then occupy their time with the help of games on tablets or phones dedicated to car journeys. There are thousands of them on the App Store and Play Store. You can also download movies and songs as well as riddles to keep the young ones busy.
Choose your travel schedule
In order to avoid traffic jams, it is essential to avoid leaving on weekends. Moreover, you should know that certain hours are more conducive to fatigue and drowsiness, and that it is essential to avoid driving at these times. Finally, contrary to the departure time, it is useless to set an arrival time because it is better to remain relaxed throughout the journey.
Take a toiletry kit with you
During a long car trip, few people can stand the famous cra-cra feeling. In this case, a toiletry kit is a must, which contains a toothbrush, deodorant and anything else that might freshen you up. Along with the toiletry kit, take a change of underwear and an extra outfit or two.
Anticipate foreign regulations
If you wish to travel abroad by car, don't forget to find out about the regulations and traffic laws in the other countries you will be visiting, whether in Europe or across the Atlantic. Finally, always check the weather forecast and postpone your departure in case of heavy rain or storms.