Fatigued and distracted driving are two of the most common reasons why accidents occur in Ohio and throughout the country. Therefore, if you are planning to take a long road trip this summer, build time into your travel itinerary for rest breaks. There are many factors to consider when determining exactly how many breaks you should take prior to reaching your destination.
Rest every two hours
Ideally, you will take a break every two hours even if you don’t think that there is a good reason to do so. Stopping gives you a chance to stretch your legs, rest your eyes and recharge mentally. If you are driving on a highway, you can go hundreds of miles without any change in scenery. This may cause you to become lost in thought, which is a form of distracted driving and an easy way to increase your risk of a motor vehicle accident.
Stop if you’re hungry
If you are hungry or thirsty, it is safer to eat and drink while your vehicle is stopped. Even if you have a granola bar or water bottle right next to you, the act of consuming something can cause you to take your eyes off the road for several seconds. At highway speeds, you can travel the length of a football field in about five seconds, and so much can occur during that short period of time.
Don’t hesitate to take a phone break
It may be tempting to answer a ringing phone or respond to an incoming text message without stopping. However, talking or texting can cause a plethora of distractions that can lead to a motor vehicle accident. Therefore, find a place to stop before answering your phone even if the call or text is urgent.
Taking a road trip can be a fun way to spend a weekend off work or to reconnect with your family. However, if your destination is several hours away, it can be dangerous to try to get there without taking breaks. Typically, driving while tired is a form of driver negligence.