Long road trips

Long Road Trips: Five Practical Tips to Make Driving More Fun and Safer

Whoever drives should always be aware of traffic and the road. For moments of solitude behind the wheel, there are some tricks that can make the trip lighter if it involves long distances

The last weekend of January arrives and with it, the second major tourist turnover of the 2023 summer season. Many of those who return, with the annoyance of finishing their rest time, instead for those who start their vacations, with the joy of finally going out to enjoy a few days in a destination where the routine disappears and it is only about recreation.

In any case, if the trip is to a remote destination, everyone expects a good number of hours on the road if the choice was to go out in the car. However, for those who return home, the trip can be more tedious, it is always said that the return trip takes longer than the outward trip, even if the distance is the same, due to those emotions and anxiety at stake.

So it is very likely that whoever drives the car that is returning from vacation, has to travel several hours in silence and almost alone at the wheel, because it is common for children and often adult companions to decide to sleep so that “the time passes faster”, and somehow, without suffering so much.

“You have to give the driver a chat, if you leave him alone you can sleep”, is an old phrase that is still heard today when planning a long trip by car, and although for many people it is not that way, keeping the Busy mind is a great solution that combats boredom and therefore the possibility of falling asleep at the wheel.

1- Listen to AM radio

There are two reasons why tuning into an AM radio station is a good way to stay entertained. The first is the very content of the programming that is heard, but the second is that as the kilometers go by, the AM wave is lost until it becomes annoying noise rather than a company.

That is already a fact that helps to be busy, because at times it becomes very difficult to understand what is being said, then start looking for another station with greater power or that begins to be heard better due to proximity, it is an occupation that entertains the driver.

In current models, where the tuning is digital and automatic, and in the majority it is remote controlled, you can change the station without taking your eyes off the road and your hands on the wheel. FM stations have a nicer sound, naturally, but they have a shorter range and force you to spend more time looking for a radio to keep you company.

2 – Odometer

Whoever is behind the wheel has the chance to see the road signs, but also the milestones that each national and provincial route places every 1,000 or 2,000 meters. There are several mind games that can be played with these prompts.

One is to check that the green signs coincide with the number of milestones. If an intermediate destination of the trip is marked on a green sign as being about 40 kilometers away, counting how many milestones there are until reaching that point seems meaningless, however, they will verify that there is not always a coincidence, and sometimes the margin of error is quite big.

Another thing that can be done is to try to keep the speed constant and mentally count the seconds to try to verify that they are indeed 1 or 2 kilometers from the previous point. There are several tricks to know how often a second passes without looking at a clock, it is usually adding a four-syllable word between number and number, for example “one elephant, two elephants, three elephants…”

The third game that can be a good entertainment is to calculate the difference between the speedometer and the actual speed. Today, with the Google Maps or Waze applications, you can see the difference between the speed that the needle marks and the one that is actually driving, which is usually 2 to 3%. But if what you want is to challenge the mind to do it and incidentally have some entertainment behind the wheel, you can put the car at 120 km/h, a reasonable speed for the open road (provided there is no indication to the contrary, of course). ), and know that at that speed, two milestones should be passed in one minute.

3 – Time calculation

The other challenge that can be done by playing with average speed and time is calculating different points along the way and drawing a “road map” with estimated arrival times. But the game has to start at the beginning of the trip, so that it is more difficult and so that during the journey you can check if the average is what you expected, if the calculation was wrong or if you have to lose less time at the stops.

By the way, this game will allow the driver to be able to set a schedule for the intermediate stops and a time of arrival at the destination, which is usually a real problem because the boys ask the question with less and less time interval as the time goes by. trip.

4 – Fuel calculation

Knowing the autonomy of the car is very important to plan a trip. Knowing how many tanks you will reach your destination with allows you to know the number of times you have to stop. If you want to arrive in the shortest possible time according to the maximum speeds allowed along the route, you must take advantage of these stops to rest your body in the same position, stretch your legs, go to the bathroom or buy something to eat or drink.

But the stops must be organized so as not to reach the limit of autonomy to make them. If the car has the capacity to travel 600 kilometers with a full tank, the recommended stop is at 500 kilometers, so as not to have to wait to find the right station and not consume the last liters of the tank, which can drag waste that are deposited over time at the bottom of the reservoir.

During the trip, in cars that have an on-board consumption computer, alternately changing the autonomy and instantaneous consumption function, allows you to verify if the calculation is correct or if you have to drive with less accelerator and a higher constant speed to stop. be at the planned location. It is also good to know the distances before starting the trip, because there are sections of routes that do not have so many stations and sometimes not knowing this information can be a trap for the calculation, forcing the driver to slow down many kilometers to reach the starting point. recharge.

5 – Look carefully inside and outside

The last piece of advice should not be an option, but an obligation, and that is to drive constantly checking the functions of the car and the state of the traffic. Although it may not seem so important, taking a tour of all the clocks and screens that monitor how the car is running is an entertaining and safe routine. The review must verify the engine temperature, both water and oil in cars that also provide this last data, fuel consumption and autonomy and that the low beams are on.

At the same time, pay attention to the cars that come from the opposite direction, if it is a very long straight like those found on the roads to destinations in Patagonia, signal them with lights when they are at a safe distance so that they turn back. same sign, is a way of verifying that he is attentive. This is valid both during the day and at night, because it allows you to make sure that you have been seen by others.

Also on routes where there is wind, it is important to hold the steering wheel firmly when you are going to cross another vehicle coming from the opposite direction, especially if it is a truck or a long-distance bus, since these can generate the “sail effect”. ”, which changes the force that must be exerted on the steering wheel to compensate for the wind.

Finally, look at the mirrors at least once or twice a minute, and always do so before starting a passing manoeuvre, in addition to placing the turning light to warn of the maneuver that is about to start, ensures that you avoid frightening yourself and others, since it is common to find cars that travel much faster and approach in a few seconds.

Ashley Johnson
Ashley Johnson is the lead reporter for Globe Live Media on things related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Music. Being a fitness enthusiast, her background involves growing up in Beverly Hills, where She often interacts with famous Artists and also talks about their ways for a Healthy Lifestyle. She is in fact a profound Yoga student. You can be well assured about the authenticity and quality of Lifestyle, Health, and Music reports published by her. She is a part-time gamer too, so she will also cover the gaming section of Globe Live Media every now then.