Safely Tips For Long Summer Drives

As we continue to progress through summer, many of you are planning vacations that will occur during the next several months. This will involve a list of details that are necessary when you are undergoing preparations, and one of your most important decisions concerns which form of transportation you will be using in order to arrive at your desired destination.

While some people prefer the advantages of flying, others believe that they receive more benefits from driving throughout their journey. There are advantages to driving even if the eventual destination is a long distance from your home. You certainly can remain in charge of your schedule when you are at the wheel of your vehicle, as opposed to being totally dependent upon various elements that are out of your control if you choose to travel by plane or train.

Your safety is paramount regardless of how you are traveling. But it is important that you follow a number of specific safety precautions if you have decided to drive to your eventual location. It is essential that you maintain a healthy respect for the need to minimize your exposure to hazardous situations if your journey will require you to travel a long distance from your home.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us that two million people are injured each year as the result of motor vehicle accidents, while over 32,000 people are killed. One out of every three crash deaths in the U.S. was related to drunk driving, while speeding was a factor in nearly one out of every three deaths that occurred due to a crash.  

This should provide additional incentive for you to remain committed toward taking a series of precautions to reduce the risk of problems before your vacation begins, then continuing with your safety conscious efforts throughout your journey.

Safety Begins Before Your Trip

A wise initial step in your efforts to protect yourself and your family involves having your vehicle checked before you leave for your destination. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you have all tires, belts, battery, fluids, and your air conditioner inspected by a qualified professional.

As you are loading items into you vehicle before your depart, you should include a supply of water in order for you to remain hydrated during your drive. If you are concerned that the water intake will necessitate having to make several bathroom stops, it is actually recommended that you take a break every two hours. This will enable you to stretch, walk, and reenergize yourself. All of which should propel you to a renewed focus and energy level when you resume your drive. 

It will also be helpful to bring a sufficient amount of healthy foods that contain vitamins in order to retain a sufficient energy level as you drive.  

Just before your journey begins, you must make sure that all children are securely buckled in the back seat in a car seat or booster seat. The type of seat that is necessary will be based upon the age, weight, and size of the child.

It is also essential that your seatbelt is fastened at all times and anyone riding in your vehicle must also use their seatbelt throughout the trip. You should also obey all speed limits as you progress with your journey.  

The Dangers Of Distracted Driving

It is imperative that you avoid all distractions that can occur through the use of a cell phone, or from any of the other diversions that can shift your attention from driving. The need to refrain from any form of distracted driving is a necessary point of emphasis that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics will reinforce. This is responsible for around 15 percent of injuries in crashes, along with 10 percent of fatalities.

Distracted driving has been defined as any activity which can capture your attention, which includes talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking with other people that are in your vehicle, focusing on your stereo or navigation system, or becoming involved with anything else that would divert your thoughts from the critical task at hand – which is driving safely until you reach your destination.

Avoid Drowsy Driving

According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in every 25 adult drivers (aged 18 or older) has admitted to falling asleep while driving within the past 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also estimated that drowsy driving was accountable for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.

There are some simple yet critical steps that you can take to reduce the risk of what is referred to as ‘drowsy driving’ before you begin your journey.

You should make it a priority to accumulate at least seven hours of sleep the night before your drive, and attaining that amount of sleep for two consecutive nights before your trip begins is optimal. Eight hours of sleep is the desired amount for teenagers, and it will be extremely beneficial to maintain a schedule during the day that will improve your chances of accomplishing these goals.

If you have a sleeping disorder or encounter difficulty remaining awake during the day, you should discuss the situation with your physician. That will allow he or she to determine your treatment options.

You should also sit up straight as your drive because maintaining healthy posture will maximize the blood flow through your body. You can also listen to music, comedy, or books in order to keep your brain stimulated.  

Finally, you should absolutely avoid the consumption of alcohol or any medications that will increase your chances of falling asleep. The CDC states that alcohol is responsible for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.1

At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center We Can Help 

If you have any questions about an upcoming drive, or have concerns about any aspect of your health, do not hesitate to contact us at Rapid Med Urgent Care Center. At Rapid Med, not only do we offer immediate medical attention for conditions that are not critical or life-threatening, but we also provide both primary and preventive care.

Our Primary Care 

Our intuitive approach and commitment to patients enable them to receive the specific type of care that they prefer, when and how they want it. This includes:

  • After Hours Care Available
  • Continuity of Care
  • Health Maintenance
  • Patient Education
  • Vaccinations

Our Preventative Care 

  • Alcohol Misuse Screening & Counseling
  • Atherosclerosis Risk Factor Modification
  • Blood Pressure Screening
  • Cancer Screening
  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Depression Screening
  • HIV-STD Screening
  • Immunizations
  • Obesity Screening & Counseling
  • Type 2 Diabetes Screening
  • Weight Management
  • Wellness Exams

Our Urgent Care

Of course, At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center we also provide immediate medical attention for conditions that are not critical or life threatening.

Regardless of whether you are in need of primary care, preventative care or urgent care, you can receive the same great care and consideration that you receive by visiting our offices simply by using our On Demand service through your phone, tablet, or computer.



Phil Clark
Phil’s experience as a writer enabled him to generate advertising and marketing material throughout his career in the television industry before he expanded his level of knowledge by creating various promotional elements for all forms of media in other industries. He has also produced articles that have been published in numerous publications and websites, including usatoday.com, and USA Today’s football magazine, where he wrote weekly columns and player profiles for multiple years. He has also worked with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Vizio, and has a BS in Broadcasting from Indiana State University.
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