When you’re just driving around town, your mind can usually stay on the task of driving and paying attention to the things in and around your vehicle that you might have to react to. But after you’ve been on the road for a few hours and you start to get a little bored and tired, you may find that your focus and reaction times aren’t what they were when you started — let alone what they ought to be.
To help ensure that you’re able to stay safe and pay attention to the things you should, here are three items you should keep an eye on when you’re on a road trip.
What’s Distracting You
If you’ve spent quite a bit of time on the highway, it’s only natural that you might get a little too comfortable and start to become more easily distracted. Regardless, it’s still dangerous to drive while distracted, which is why any distractions are something you need to stay on top of.
According to Smarter Travel, if you’re driving with other people, try to switch off with them when you feel as if your attention is drifting. This will give you the chance to focus on whatever might have been distracting you at the wheel and give you a break from the road. Once you’re feeling more grounded, feel free to get back in the literal driver’s seat.
It’s easy to overlook the gauges of your car during a long road trip, especially if you have your car set on cruise control and don’t have to be checking your speed constantly. But even with cruise control, you should always keep an eye on the gauges on your dashboard.
According to Jay Ghanem, a contributor to Angie’s List, your gauges will alert you if your car is overheating, you’re getting low on gas, something’s wrong with your tires, any of your fluids are running low, and if you’ve left any doors or hood/trunk ajar. If you notice immediately when a light goes on in your dash, you’ll be able to address the problem before it gets out of control.
The Placement and Movement of Your Gear
In addition to being aware of what’s going on with your car, you should also monitor what’s going on inside your car. Though you might have had room to throw things in the back seat or cargo area haphazardly, Aaron Gold, a contributor to ThoughtCo.com, advises that you keep heavy items close to the floor of your car.
This will ensure that, in the event you get in a collision, those heavy items don’t get tossed through the air and become a dangerous projectile that hits you. If weighty objects are shifting around too much in your cargo areas, pull over so you can rearrange them and make everything as secure as you can.
To ensure you have a safe ride on your road trips, consider observing the tips mentioned above so you’ll keep everything well in hand.