Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Traveling at Night

Several months ago, my mother-in-law and I were discussing Christmas and what to get for the kids when she mentioned she would like to take them somewhere this year for their Christmas gift. I didn't know exactly where that was going to be but we looked at my husband's work schedule for the end of the year and decided that we could, in fact, go on a vacation at the end of the year. My mother-in-law has been hard at work planning and finally let us in on everything over the weekend. I will share all of the details after next weekend (It's a surprise and the kids won't find out until our family Christmas on the 15th!) but one of the things we discussed was traveling at night. We are looking at a 14-15 hour drive  (EEK!) and we have four children ranging from 2 to 10. To be honest, my husband can't stand them in the car for 15 minutes so the only way I know to even make it remotely manageable is to leave at bedtime. Our plan is to leave around 10:00 p.m. and drive through the night to arrive at our destination the following day. I am NOT a night traveler so it's not something I am really looking forward to but when you look at the big picture, I definitely think it is probably the best way to go, otherwise we might never make it to our destination. LOL (Do you know how many potty breaks you have to take in a 14 hour period for 4 kids?!?!) 

Having said this, I was able to round up a full list of tips for traveling at night from The National Safety Council! 

*Prepare your car for night driving. Keep headlights, tail lights, signal lights and windows clean. 

*Have your headlights properly aimed. Mis-aimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.

*Don't drink and drive. Alcohol severely impairs your driving ability and induces fatigue.

*Avoid smoking. Smoke's nicotine and carbon monoxide hamper night vision.

*Reduce your speed and increase your following distances.  It is more difficult to judge others vehicle's speeds and distances at night.

*Don't overdrive your headlights. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area. If you're not, you are creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle.  

*When following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low beams so you don't blind the driver ahead of you.

* If an oncoming vehicle doesn't dim their headlights from high to low, avoid glare by watching the right edge of the road and using it as a steering guide.

* Make frequent stops for snacks and exercise. If you're too tired to drive, stop and get rest.

*If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.  Warn approaching traffic at once by setting up reflecting triangles near your vehicle and 300 feet behind it.  Turn on flashers and the dome light. Stay off the roadway and get passengers away from the area. 

*Observe night driving safety as soon as the sun goes down.  Twilight is one of the most difficult times to drive, because your eyes are constantly changing to adapt to the growing darkness. 

Do you prefer to travel during the day or at night?

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9 comments:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I really don't like driving at night. I makes the drive seem longer.

Mandee said...

I have a feeling I know where you are going! The furthest we have ever driven with all of our boys is about 8-9 hours, and we always left around 2am that way the boys would sleep for the first half of the ride. I'd say, just make sure you get some sleep before leaving. Great tips! And have fun!!!

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

I don't drive much at night bc I don't see great. THese are great tips. Thank you!

Mama to 4 said...

WE love our kia! We stay home / local for Christmas every year wanting our kids to wake up in their own home. Great tips!

Linda @ Linda's Lunacy said...

We traveled to visit family a lot when I was growing up. We always left in the evening and drove all night. Less potty breaks that way. lol And less sibling fighting! Have a great trip!

Mudpiesandtiaras said...

I don't like driving at night. But it works great with kids!

Alicia said...

I have multiple friends who will only travel this way with kids and they love it. But personally I prefer driving during the day.

Cara said...

I don't like driving at night, I don't see as well and the glare from other driver's lights bothers my eyes. Even though the kids are better behaved because they are asleep, I prefer to drive during the day. We leave Saturday for Disney, it's a 12 hour drive, we are breaking it up into two days to help keep the kids happy.

MikiHope said...

I definitely prefer day driving since I have night blindness--it is really difficult for me to see-especially on a dark road when lights are coming at me or someone behind me has his/her brights on!! Great advice!!

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