Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.
Road tripping is my family’s favorite way to travel. Are you planning a road trip with your family? Are you considering an early start or a late-night drive? If so, you need to keep reading because this article is all about how to keep your family safe while road tripping at night. Driving at night can be very dangerous, but if you stay alert at all times and follow a few safety tips, it can save you a lot of time! Here are a few of my favorite safety tips for your night time road trip:
Photo Credit: Unspalsh
Always Have A Charged Phone
When you go road tripping, it is always very important to have a charged phone, but make sure not to text and drive. Having a charged phone with you at all times during a road trip (especially at night) is very important, just in case you have an emergency, get lost, or need to make a call. I will get to this more in a minute, but it is always a great idea to have your phone charged so that someone can track where you last were if need be. More than likely, nothing will happen, but it is always better to be safe, especially when you are with your family.
Image from rawpixel.com / Markus Spiske
Consider Gas Station Lighting
When you need to stop and get gas, always consider the gas station lighting before you get out of your car. Is the gas station well-lit? Does it feel safe? If so, feel free to get out and pump. If it does not feel safe, or the lighting is not adequate, I would honestly find another gas station because the safety of yourself and your family is not worth the potential risk.
This is one thing that I have never understood about Florida gas station owners – so many of them do not invest in quality LED lighting, but if they thought about it more, they would probably get more business. Maybe they just do not know who to reach out to when searching for it? I’m not sure. If this is their reasoning, then I need to tell them all about Irvin, Inc. because they offer extensive LED lighting options, including those for signage, wall scapes, parking lots, sporting venues, warehouses, and more. Irvin, Inc. offers a versatile and customized approach to illumination through strategies that incorporate input from top engineering and manufacturing partners. Over the past two decades, they have been a trusted leader in billboard supplies and has recently expanded its lines to include LED and solar lighting, as well. Maybe all of these gas stations and parking lots need to reach out to Irvin, Inc.
Find A Way To Stay Alert While Driving
If you find yourself getting tired, you need to find a way to stay alert, or you need to pull over and find a place to sleep until you can safely drive again. According to the NSC, “A National Sleep Foundation poll says 60% of adults have driven while they were tired, and another 37%, or 103 million people, have fallen asleep at the wheel. Of those, 13% say they fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4% say they have caused a crash by falling asleep while driving. The reasons are many – shift work, lack of quality sleep, long work hours, sleep disorders – and it doesn’t only happen on lengthy trips.
These staggering numbers are backed up by a report by NHTSA that 100,000 police-reported crashes are a result of driver fatigue. Most crashes or near-misses happen at the times you would expect drivers to be tired: 4 to 6 a.m., midnight to 2 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m., according to NSF.
Drowsy driving puts everyone on the road at risk. Losing two hours of sleep has the same effect on driving as having three beers, and tired drivers are three times more likely to be in a car crash if they are fatigued.
The National Sleep Foundation offers this advice:
- Get seven or more hours of sleep a night
- Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for 16 hours or more
- Stop every two hours to rest
- Pullover and take a nap if you’re drowsy
- Travel during times you are normally awake”
If you have to drive instead of pulling over, then find a way to stay alert. Turn on the music, play a game with your family (of course, one that you do not have to turn around for), or play an audiobook. Whatever you have to do to stay alert, awake, and safe – do it.
If You Get Pulled Over, Play It Safe
As with all of these points, most of the time you are okay, but I am all about playing it overly safe at night (or really, at all times) because of the world that we currently live in and this is a point that definitely plays it overly safe. If you get pulled over, I always recommend putting on your emergency lights to let the police officer know that you see him or her and are making your way to a safe location. Then, drive slowly until you find somewhere that is safe from other traffic and most importantly, populated. If you are really concerned with the officer pulling you over, you can call to confirm that it is really an officer, as well. Just make sure you do the first step, of putting on your hazard lights, so that the officer knows that you have seen him or her and are working on stopping.
Let Someone Know Where You Are Headed
Last but not least, please let someone else know where you are headed and utilize your charged phone to make this easier on yourself. Apple has a really handy app called Find My Friends that makes it easy to see where your friends and family members are. If you are traveling alone or with family alike, this is extremely handy and I love using it for late-night road trips.