When you’re RVing, a great deal of your time is spent on the road, and while traveling can be fun, logging in so many miles can have some unfortunate effects, like exhaustion or distraction. Driving requires your complete attention, but with all the gadgets and gizmos at our disposal, it can be difficult to stay concentrated on the primary task at hand which is getting safely from point A to point B. To help make sure you’re staying focused on the road, review these driving tips and do your part to ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers, and the other vehicles on the road so that everyone can make it to where they want to go!
Start Focusing Before You Start Your Vehicle
The first steps toward staying focused on the road happen before you even get into your vehicle. Make sure you have sent out all of the texts you need to and that you have completed any phone calls you intend to make or anticipate receiving. Don’t attempt to do foolish activities like change your clothes or do your makeup once you’re driving. Get everything set before you take off so that you can keep your hands where they need to be: on the steering wheel. Additionally, you will also want to make sure you’ve mapped out your route and you know where you’re going so that you don’t have to fiddle with the GPS, map, or directions while you drive.
Sufficient Sleep Makes For a Successful Journey
Nothing can derail a journey quite like falling asleep behind the wheel! If you find yourself feeling drowsy, pull off the road and get some rest. Don’t try to power through your fatigue; either switch out drivers or pause for a rest-stop nap. While nothing is better than actual sleep, studies have indicated that caffeine can have a beneficial effect on your ability to drive. So in addition to getting enough sleep, drink coffee as you cruise down the road, or find a caffeine alternative like tea or soda.
Eliminate Your Distractions, Maintain Your Attention
Being behind the wheel is no time for multi-tasking, yet the boredom can subconsciously cause you to start grabbing for your cellphone or switching through the knobs on your radio. By eliminating the potential for distraction, you reduce the temptation to lose your focus. Turn your phone on silent and put it out of sight. If you must text or call, designate another member in your vehicle to do it for you. If you are driving alone, take advantage of Bluetooth technology so you can do so hands-free. Try to avoid eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio, or any other activities which prevent you from keeping both hands on the wheel.
Keep Your Traveling Companions Under Control
Traveling alone can make focusing difficult, but traveling with others can take it to a whole new level, especially if those travelers are fidgety toddlers or rambunctious pets. If you are RVing with your animals, make sure they are properly contained so that they can’t jump around and cause you to lose focus. When traveling with kids, make sure they have plenty of items to keep them occupied for the trip. If talking amongst passengers is impairing your ability to stay focused, don’t hesitate to request that they keep the conversation to a minimum. Remember, as the driver you have an obligation to protect the passengers in your vehicle, so making this request should be respectfully received by them.
Know That Distractions Affect All Drivers
A 2010 study conducted by the Pew Research Center concluded that close to half of all adults who text message admitted to having sent or received messages while driving. Keep in mind that just because you are concentrated on the task at hand doesn’t mean all the other drivers around you are. Being on the defensive will not only help you to maintain awareness of the surrounding drivers, but it also helps you to perceive and anticipate potential problems and hazards so you can avoid getting caught up in them.
Stay Refreshed And Retain Your Awareness
No matter how hard you focus, long road trips can still have stifling effects on your vision and your mind, but luckily there are some tips and tricks to refocusing your eyes so that you don’t get fixated on one particular spot. Periodically cycle through the various areas that you should be paying attention to. Glance into your rearview mirror, check your side mirrors, and scan the panoramic view out your front windshield. Doing so will help you remain conscious of your surroundings and prevent the sort of tunnel-vision hypnosis that can sometimes happen on long stretches of highway.
Distracted driving is a serious issue that can have disastrous consequences. Don’t put your own life, the lives of your loved ones, or the lives of others on the road at risk. Stay focused while you drive, keep your hands on the steering wheel, and remember that no text message, phone call, or conversation could be more important than safety. Do you have any other driving tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!