“Keep your eyes on the road, your hand upon the wheel.” “The future’s uncertain and the end is always near. “ Those lyrics from The Doors’ Roadhouse Blues are very prophetic. Perhaps Jim Morrison foresaw an overwhelming amount of distractions in our future, and the possibility of shortening one’s life due to those distractions. Spending much of his childhood on road trips, though scenic, those long drives must have become somewhat monotonous and sometimes evening boring for a kid. It would be easy for someone’s mind to wander. Many of his best lyrics were written as a result of those hours of idle time, trapped in a car, driving through the Southwest United States. There is plenty of nothing to see for a kid. For grown ups, there is Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas, Stonehenge II in Odessa, The Branch Davidians’ swimming pool in Waco. And now we have the Prada Retail Store art installation in Marfa (only for looks, not a real working store). You also must see The Thing in Dragon, Arizona! Here are a few road trip tips to help keep it safe and fun.

Unfortunately, the Morrison family didn’t have satellite radio to be able to listen to. You’ve got to love the variety of unusual stations that don’t lose their signal between cities. That’s certainly a lifesaver! If you plan a road trip with passengers, assign whoever is going to be sitting in the front seat as your “co-pilot.” They can be appointed as your assistant and be expected to do whatever you ask of them (well, nearly everything). Make a game out of it, or more like a competition. Set rules for yourself and other drivers. No cell phone use while driving, PERIOD. No talking, texting or reading messages or emails. Set up your phone in driving mode and maybe even put it in the glove compartment. Have chatting periods, music periods, etc. Put your “co-pilot” in charge of the music and GPS. Map your routes before leaving for your trip. Re-check them every day to familiarize yourself with your routes. Stop and eat all of your meals. Or purchase healthy food items and take time to stop and enjoy a picnic. Get out every few hours and take a brisk walk. Make a little sight-seeing tour out of it and take some pictures.

Road Trip America is a great website with tips, sightseeing tours and loads of great information for your next road trip. As the Lizard King said “Have a real good time…let it roll, baby roll.”

Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Road Trip Tips – Comedy Defensive Driving