4 Pro Tips for Driving Long Distances Safely
Personal Injury Lawyers | Welcome to the Inside Track. In our continued dedication to making you a smarter and safer driver, Farmers went to some of the smartest drivers we know, Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Farmers Insurance team, and asked for their professional advice. Here’s what they had to say:
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to 36 events annually, and the one person making sure the No. 5 Farmers Insurance team’s hauler arrives safely to each of those events is Hendrick Motorsports employee, Dave Radney.
Radney is no stranger to long trips across the country. With Hendrick Motorsports, he drives thousands of miles a year, from city to city, all across the country.
According to Radney, here are the best ways to safely travel across the nation’s more than 40,000 miles of interstate:
1. Take Breaks
“The biggest thing on the road is staying alert,” says Radney. “Fatigue can be a big problem on long hauls, so we frequently take breaks. We can drive 11 hours on a 14-hour day, so taking a lot of breaks is an important way in helping us stay alert during those long drives.”
Frequent breaks from the car allow a driver to stretch and move, which can also help to avoid fatigue on the road.
“As a driver, you never want to get into a zone where you’re experiencing aches from sitting in the same seat for 500 miles. It’s very important to take breaks, walk around, and do your exercises outside to help stay alert.”
2. Stay Focused
Depending on where you’re driving, you may encounter repetitive scenery like long stretches of flat roads or endless fields. In those instances, it’s important for your mind to stay focused and not wander.
“I listen to a lot of country music and have a lot of bad karaoke sessions in the truck,” says Radney. “We see a lot of this beautiful country on the roads we travel, so it’s pretty easy to be entertained.”
3. Share the Road and Drive around Big Vehicles
When driving across the country, you share the road with many different types of vehicles. It’s important to know how to safely navigate around all of them, especially large trucks. The maximum gross vehicle weight for a commercial vehicle is 80,000 pounds, so when you’re driving around one of these in your passenger vehicle, there are some behaviors you should consider integrating to safely share the road with them.
“The front right of the truck or the passenger side are definitely really bad blind spots,” according to Radney. “If you’re driving by a truck on the road and can’t look up into the truck’s driver side mirror and see the driver themself, they can’t see you.”
4. Plan Ahead
No matter how safe you play it on the road, it’s smart to plan ahead and be prepared for the unexpected. The last thing you want is to find yourself stranded on the side of the highway, unprepared.
“Depending on the places you’re driving and the weather conditions you may encounter, there are a lot of different safety kits that you can buy to keep in your car,” says Radney. “You should always have those kits plus a first aid kit, flashlights, blankets, candles, water and food.”
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