Mile marker after mile marker, they just keep flying by like the insects on your windshield before they met their fate. You stretch your back once more and change the radio station for the tenth time in the last hour, and finally a yawn slips out. With destinations, deadlines, and mile-markers encouraging you on, it can be hard to pull over when you need it. But long distance driving is a sport in itself, and like any recreational activity, it has its own dangers. For your future safe travels, here are 5 signs that it’s time to pull over and stretch those legs.
We’ve all been there before. One moment you’re thinking about The Matrix plot line at mile-marker 93, and then suddenly you snap out of something and realize you were thinking about your Aunt Faye’s potato salad with the little marshmallow bits at mile-marker 139. The endless highway has a meditative quality to its repetition. But be careful and be weary of not keeping your focus on the road, because your meditation closet is now traveling at 60+ miles per hour.
A New State
If you’ve managed to miss the gas stations, drive from border to border, and cross into an entirely new state; it might be a good time to hop off the interstate and out of your car. Try and do something: throw the football, visit an ice-cream shop, or read a book. Do anything. That way when someone asks you a question along the lines of “have you ever been to the state of Iowa?” You can respond with more than “I’ve driven through it.”
Text messages, a continuous stream of Facebook notifications, and sudden urges to cut your toenails. On the road, their are plenty of things to distract the driver, and when they start piling up, why not pull over and take care of them in one swift swoop? Get them out of your way and stay on course, travel smart and stay safe.
We all have ways in our life to battle the sluggishness and sleepiness that eventually haunts our everyday. And those methods can be amplified on the long distance drive. Caffeine, pinching yourself, and sucking on ice-cubes; if you ever find yourself struggling to keep the Z’s from escaping, there’s absolutely no reason not to pull over. Wherever you’re going can wait, and you’d be surprised how much stretching your legs can give you that second wind.
Ticking Clock Not Ticking
Time is relative after all. If you find yourself watching the clock or odometer slowly peeling away at each new number, consider pulling over. Counting the clock and eyeing the odometer is a good sign that you’re ready for a break. And whether that break is for the bathroom or a quick bite to eat, I guarantee time will continue to fly when you hop back into the driver’s seat.