How to tackle lon­ger jour­neys

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News -

W­hen dri­vers pre­pa­re to set off on lon­ger jour­neys or ro­ad trips, one thing t­hey should be plan­ning for is chan­ged dri­ving con­di­ti­ons. You may ha­ve be­co­me accu­s­to­med to short trips, grid-loc­ked traf­fic, ad­van­ced ro­ad net­works and li­mi­ted ti­me spent dri­ving in bad we­at­her. This, ho­we­ver, is un­li­ke­ly to be the sa­me for a long-dis­tan­ce trip and one should be pre­pa­red ac­cor­dingly.

A FULL LO­AD

The car will li­ke­ly be ful­ly lo­a­ded with lug­ga­ge and pas­sen­gers and you may e­ven be to­wing a trai­ler or ca­ra­van. This chan­ges va­ri­ous as­pects of dri­ving:

Your po­wer and ma­noeu­vra­bi­li­ty will be re­du­ced.

It will ta­ke lon­ger to stop, re­qui­ring big­ger fol­lo­wing dis­tan­ces.

C­hild­ren wa­t­ching mo­vies in the back or get­ting ro­w­dy may pre­sent mo­re dis­tracti­ons. En­s­u­re you ha­ve e­nough acti­vi­ties to keep the kids en­ter­tai­ned throug­hout.

A­void re­du­cing vi­si­bi­li­ty with lug­ga­ge and pay ex­tra at­ten­ti­on to blind spots, mir­rors and u­sing the in­di­ca­tor.

COUNTRY RO­ADS

Dri­ving on qui­e­ter ro­ads in re­mo­te a­re­as is mo­re en­joy­a­ble than grid-loc­ked traf­fic, but it still has its own chal­len­ges. Keep the fol­lo­wing in mind:

Your are li­ke­ly to en­coun­ter mo­re trucks. Do not pres­su­re them to d­ri­ve in the y­el­low la­ne if it is not sa­fe.

Do not let frus­tra­ti­on with slo­wer mo­ving traf­fic cau­se you to ma­ke a dan­ge­rous o­ver­ta­king pass.

Keep an ex­tra eye o­pen for ha­zards such as pot­ho­les, cy­clis­ts, a­ni­mals or pe­de­stri­ans as you ne­ar towns.

W­hen you re­turn to ro­ads with a hig­her den­si­ty, do not lo­se your cool be­cau­se you get frus­tra­ted with grid-loc­ked traf­fic and ot­her stres­sed dri­vers.

ADVERSE WE­AT­HER

If t­he­re are bad we­at­her con­di­ti­ons w­hen you le­a­ve, you will be stuck in the car lon­ger than you would be on your u­su­al com­mu­tes. Fol­low the­se tips to stay sa­fe:

If vi­si­bi­li­ty is se­ver­e­ly re­du­ced, stop at a pe­trol sta­ti­on or a­not­her sa­fe pla­ce for re­freshments and gi­ve the we­at­her so­me ti­me to cle­ar up.

In­cre­a­se fol­lo­wing dis­tan­ces in all adverse we­at­her con­di­ti­ons.

S­witch your he­ad­lig­hts on. Do not s­witch them on­to brig­ht in fog, w­he­re lig­hts on brig­ht can re­flect off the fog.

Ta­ke re­gu­lar bre­aks as this dri­ving re­qui­res mo­re con­cen­tra­ti­on. As a rough gui­de, plan to stop e­very two hours.

MOUN­TAIN PAS­SES

Ma­ny rou­tes re­qui­re you to d­ri­ve through moun­tain pas­ses. This is w­hat you should do: Stay hy­dra­ted on high moun­tain pas­ses to a­void al­ti­tu­de sickness.

Ta­ke re­gu­lar bre­aks as dri­ving is of­ten mo­re stre­nu­ous. Pull o­ver at a sa­fe pla­ce and en­joy the view.

Be ca­re­ful that the sce­ne­ry does not dis­tract you so much that you d­ri­ve dan­ge­rous­ly.

In­cre­a­se fol­lo­wing dis­tan­ce, as sud­den stops can be mo­re com­mon.

Hug­ging the cen­t­re li­ne can be dan­ge­rous on cur­ves.

En­s­u­re you ha­ve mo­re than e­nough spa­ce w­hen you pass vehi­cles on the as­cent, as your ve­hi­cle’s po­wer will be con­si­de­ra­bly re­du­ced.

Al­low for bro­ken-do­wn vehi­cles. Be cau­ti­ous w­hen ne­go­ti­a­ting bends through which the ro­ad a­he­ad is not vi­si­ble.

Your ho­li­day is just as much a­bout the jour­ney as the des­ti­na­ti­on. En­de­a­vour to en­joy the trip so that you ar­ri­ve fee­ling calm and re­a­dy to start the ho­li­day on a po­si­ti­ve no­te.

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