Safety tips for road trips

I placed this here because I want suggestions and advice. If it’s better suited for GQ please move it, mods.

I am driving to Dallas on the 31st to spend Halloween with my sister and three nieces. It’s a 3 1/2 hour drive. I’ve made this trip many times and would like to think I do a pretty good job of being safe.

I’ll be driving alone, early in the day, stopping only twice and will have a cell phone with me.

Do any of you Dopers have any suggestions or advice to make my trip as safe as possible?

3 and 1/2 hours isn’t too bad a trip. Make sure you pull over and rest if you get tired. Make sure and check your tires, oil, and other fluid levels before you go. Make sure you have all the spare tire stuff-tire, jack, etc. and/or a can of Fix-A-Flat. Give someone an idea of where and how you’re going. For example, when I drive down to New Orleans, I leave a copy of the Mapquest directions with my girlfriend here and check in regularly from the road.

From my experiences of near-misses I have been responsible for:

  1. Don’t be tired.
  2. Don’t be in a hurry.

Keep the radio on (but don’t fiddle with it) and keep the car cool. These two things have stopped me falling asleep on numerous occasions.

Oh, and take a packet of mints too.

Three and a half hours and you’re stopping twice? May I ask why?? That’s a heartbeat of a roadtrip!

Anyway, a couple pieces of advice. Have something to much on sitting on the passenger seat … pretzels, baby carrots, something unmessy (so you won’t have to worry about wiping your fingers on anything). That helps you keep yourself at least slightly active, isn’t a big distraction, and keeps you awake. Second, try having something to drink to the point where you have a slight sensation of having to go to the bathroom. As long as it’s not a “gottagogottagogottagoNOW” level it’ll help keep you awake as well.

But seriously, 3.5 hours should be cake unless you’re completely exhausted before starting the trip. Keep aware as you would with any drive and you’ll be safe that way.

Perhaps it is not much of a road trip and I probably should have chosen a different term. I agree it is not a very long drive but I wanted suggestions and advice I might not have thought of already. I don’t see anything wrong with taking a few precautions.

As for the reason behind two stops, once for gas and once for a restroom break and to stretch my legs. That doesn’t seem too outrageous to me.

Thank you to those who responded for your suggestions.

3.5 hours isn’t much of a road trip. And your stopping twice? I normally only stop 5-6 times for a 24 hour road trip. And I would stop less if I didn’t need to gas up my car that often.

You need advice for a 3 hour road trip? Damn, it’s just driving.

Only stop 5-6 times? Jeez, I do that much in one state between the bathroom breaks, gas stops, and cool tourist traps.

What kind of scenery is there on this three hour trip? If it’s really boring scenery (and you’re alone, like you said), then a little bit of caffeine goes a long way in keeping you focused.

I routinely drive from college to home (about a 3 hour drive). Anyone who’s ever driven from West Lafayette to Dayton (or vice versa) knows that there are three major types of scenery along the way: cornfields, cornfields, and more cornfields. Recently, when driving that route, I thought I was fairly awake when navigating a straight 2 or 3 mile stretch of highway. Then came a curve, and I found myself drifting halfway into the other lane. Needless to say, I was definitely slamming a Mountain Dew at the next exit.