It may not be the primary motivation for every person that decides to get a driving license, but it’s definitely an option that a lot of people look forward to; the road trip. This is America, and it’s a huge place with some of the most scenic drives in the world, so if you’re young, you’ve got friends, and you’ve got the time, why not get together, hop in a car, and just see what the rest of the country has to offer? For most people the whole point of getting a car is a lot less fun; it means joining the rest of the people in your town or city as you participate in the commute to and from work. Getting a car simply means you can now travel even further distances to work harder.
Top 10 Bucket List Road Trips!
But it doesn’t have to be that way all the time, and with all the sights that this country has to offer, it’s really not a bad idea to take advantage of the road, with a few friends, and have a little roadside adventure. This is absolutely a great way to forge friendships and build character, but even though it’s a fun, even important experience to have in your life, you should still make some preparations. This isn’t a commute, so you won’t just be in the car for 30 minutes to an hour.
This is long distance driving, and you’re going to have to make some adjustments in order to do this safely and, maybe more importantly, without wanting to kill everyone and break up friendships by the end of the trip. So here are 8 tips that can help transition you over when it comes to the long haul on the open road.
Get Plenty Of Rest
If you’re going on a long trip, a fantastic all-night partying session is not the best way to prepare for it. This is the open road, which means that aside from the company, and whatever music you’re listening to, as a driver this is going to be a real test of endurance. You’re going to be sitting for many hours, with the drone of the engine and trying to maintain situational awareness of everything going around you on the road.
So while a road trip is certainly fun, don’t think it’s going to be easy. Make sure you’re rested and alert for the drive. Nothing is scarier to passengers than realizing that a car is veering into the opposing lane because the driver just fell asleep at the wheel.
Bring A Map
Yes, we know this is the 21st century, so everyone has a phone, and every phone has GPS functionality built in. You know what phones don’t have? An infinite supply of battery power. Resistance to getting crushed, run over, or dropped exactly the wrong way. Don’t have just ONE means of navigating, have a few.
You know how in movies teenagers or college students will be driving along and usually the slaughter begins when someone finally gets around to noticing that the gas meter in the car is reading empty and there’s not a safe, friendly gas station for miles around? Don’t be those teenagers or college students.
Even if you’re down to ¼ of a tank, if you see a gas station, consider filling up. Once again, a phone or GPS system isn’t always going to be up to date to on which gas stations are open and actually operating in your vicinity. Don’t wait until the last possible to moment to fill up.
Keep Up With Phone Laws By State
Some states don’t care if you pull out a phone and use it talk to someone. Other states will slap you with a ticket if they catch you doing it. Some states are completely okay with using a hands-free option to communicate on your phone. In all of these cases, however, if you’re caught breaking the law, pleading ignorance and not being a resident of the state is not going to get you out of that ticket.
Take It In Shifts
This one almost shouldn’t need mentioning, but if you’re going to be driving for many hours of the day, and there are other people in the car licensed to drive, then share the load. It is not a good idea for you to be driving eight straight hours, or even four. Everyone is going to be a lot of safer if the burden is passed around.
Take Your Time
Speeding is obviously against the law, so, you know, don’t do it. But just staying in the car and driving from point A to point B may not be as productive as you think. Breaks to stretch legs and use the bathroom are good, but it’s also a great experience when you see something cool, whacky or bizarre to actually stop and check it out. It’s the journey that counts too, not just the destination.
If you’re worried about how much gas your using, part of fuel efficiency is also how you drive. Depending on the kind of car you have, you may actually be saving a lot more fuel driving steadily at 50-55 mph than you would at 70-80, which is against the law anyway. Sudden stops and starts requiring a lot of acceleration and deceleration are also bad for your fuel efficiency. If you can hit certain speeds and then maintain them, you’re doing your wallet a favor.
Don’t Drive Distracted
We’re just going to keep hammering this one in again and again. Yes, we understand that there can be monotony on the road, but people have died trying to watch videos while driving on the highway. Season 2 of Stranger Things might almost be worth the risk, but at the end of the day, it still isn’t. Don’t start trying to break the dullness of driving by doing things that take your concentration away from driving. And don’t let your friends do this to you either. Everyone’s lives are literally riding on it.
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