Don’t be a zombie driver
With the warmer weather coming and several bank holidays falling in May and June, it’s a great time to visit friends and family or explore new parts of the UK. But, if you’re planning a long car journey, make sure you don’t turn into a zombie driver.
It’s far too easy to switch off when you’re behind the wheel for a long time, especially if you end up stuck in a traffic jam or two. But this combination of tiredness and monotony can transform even the most experienced motorist into the dreaded zombie driver. With your mind off the driving, your reactions are dulled, putting you at greater risk of an accident if you do need to respond to a sudden change in conditions. And, if you drive tired, you might even fall asleep at the wheel, with potentially catastrophic consequences.
But, no one needs to become a zombie driver and there are plenty of things you can do, both before you set off and during your journey, to avoid driving while tired.
Preparing for a long journey
Before you go, plan your route. Think about where you might want to stop for lunch, and dinner if it’s a particularly long journey, and check whether there are any roadworks. You might also want to consider leaving early. You’ll probably be more alert and you might benefit from quieter roads.
Make sure your car’s ready for the drive too. Checking the tyre treads and pressures, making sure the lights all work and topping up the windscreen washer will make for an easier – and safer – journey.
Tips for a long car journey
It’s good to have a ‘zombie-avoidance’ strategy for the journey itself. Taking regular breaks can help you stay alert, with a walk, a coffee or even a short nap helping to stop the tiredness taking grip.
Sharing the driving is another good idea, if you can. If you’re the only driver, you could get a temporary boost by winding down the window and getting some fresh air or turning up the radio and singing along. Listening to your favourite podcast or audiobook can also help to keep you alert and entertained on a long journey. Just don’t pick anything that’ll make you laugh too much.
Keeping your passengers happy
Be mindful that the journey can get pretty dull for your passengers too, especially the smaller ones. No one wants the stress of a mini-zombie in the back of the car, so think about their entertainment.
Games, videos and toys can all help, but also pack some snacks and drinks for the journey. Our blog on entertaining your kids on long drives has some great ideas.
Being aware of the risks associated with long car journeys will help to prevent you becoming a zombie driver. To find out how Co-op Insurance can help you on journeys long and short, visit our car insurance website for a quote.
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