car tuning

30 Jul 2007

The road is Long....

From time to time we all have long journeys to make in our cars. The longest drive we do tend to be our annual holidays and we really should prepare well for this unusual test of our endurance.

Get a good nights sleep the night before. Tiredness is one of the biggest accident causers on our road. The hassle and worry of the journey and packing for our holiday usually prevent us from getting a good nights sleep. Unwind before you go to sleep - read a book. Don't drink coffee or do any strenuous exercises before you go to bed as this is likely to keep you up. Keep a notepad by the bed so if you wake up and remember something you have to pack you can note it down and go back to sleep rather than laying awake and worrying about it.

Prepare well. You will be using roads you are unfamiliar with and you really need to have planned your route carefully and have in mind the main towns and cities so you can make snap decisions at complicated junctions and at least take the exit that keeps you going the right way. There are a number of excellent online route planners.

Rest. After the first 3 hours take a 15 minute break. Walk around, get a coffee. As the journey goes on you need to brake more frequently so I would suggest another break at 5.5 hours in to the journey and then 7 hours and then 8.5 in to the journey. If you feel tired then take a nap (pull over in a safe place to do so and lock the cars doors and leave a window slightly open if there are more than 2 occupants in the car) - a 30 minute nap is often all you need to keep you going another few hours.

Entertainment. Take some music or audio books to keep your mind occupied and take an interest in your surroundings, noticing landmarks and other cars. When you get bored you will notice that tiredness kicks in much more quickly.

Make sure the car is serviced before you go. If there are any unusual noises from the suspension or engine get this addressed before you leave. Top up the washer fluid and check the oil levels - nothing consumes oil as much as a long journey at fast constant speeds. Take a spare bottle of oil with you.

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