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How can you stay focused when you're on a road trip?

Summer is the season for road trips. But for many drivers, it's also the time of annual nightmares. Long road trips can be stressful to the extreme, and many drivers have a hard time staying focused on the road ahead for hours at a time.

What's the best way to beat distractions of a road trip? Use these tips:

1. Minimize your distractions

Insist on some ground rules for your passengers while you're driving:

  • No stressful or highly-charged conversations (in other words, politics is a topic best left for another time)
  • No shouting about the sites or trying to divert your attention
  • Kids need to carry a bag of toys, games or books to read

Let your passengers know that you'll pull over if anybody starts distracting you while you're driving rather than risk an accident — and then be true to your word.

2. Engage in something entertaining

Pick a radio station you enjoy or put on a podcast of your favorite comedian. Singing or laughing as you drive is a great way to keep yourself awake and your brain focused.

3. Have gum and fluids ready

Chewing gum is credited with helping people focus, and dehydration is often behind fuzzy thinking. Keep a handy supply of water and gum in the car and ask a passenger to hand you what you need.

4. Get plenty of rest before you go

The worst thing you can do on a road trip is start out exhausted. Pack everything well ahead of time and load the car with everything except your snacks the night before. Then, go to bed early and get a good night's rest before you leave. There's no point in starting out in the wee hours of the morning if you're going to be exhausted once you get where you're going.

If you are in a car accident while you're on your trip due to someone else's negligence, it's important to seek medical treatment for any injuries. Even if you're only slightly injured, don't put off treatment until you get home. If you need to seek compensation later, that could make it harder.

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