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Preparing For A Long Car Journey

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 18 Jun 2013 | comments*Discuss
Preparing For A Long Car Journey

Long car journeys test even the most patient of drivers. Here are some tips on how to reduce stress and tiredness and cope with lengthy trips on the road.

Planning Your Journey

  • When you plan your car journey, consider if you will be passing through locations during peak traffic times such as rush hour. This will undoubtedly add more stress to your journey.
  • Be prepared to encounter unexpected delays such as road works en route. Obstacles like this are obviously difficult to predict, especially if you are not familiar with the area. The more planning you do, the less likely you are to lose your cool.
  • The AA and RAC both offer online route planners. These let you choose your route via specific places, and can inform you of possible nightmare traffic locations.
  • Factor comfort breaks into your car journey. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time, make sure you set off earlier to compensate. You are advised to take a short break every two hours to avoid tiredness and loss of concentration.
  • If you have young children, it might be a good idea to drive through the night as they are more likely to be asleep.

Preparing the Car

Most breakdowns are a result of inadequate car maintenance and preparation. Here are some tips on how to make sure your car will be fine for the long trip.

  • Make sure your tyre tread is at least 1.6 mm. This is the legal requirement, although it is recommended to be 3mm. Worn tyres increase the risk of aquaplaning in wet weather. This alters your handling and means your stopping distance is far longer than usual.
  • Tyre pressure is also important. It can have an effect on steering and braking. Tyres that aren't properly inflated wear quickly. Remember that tyre pressure is affected by the number of people in the car, and the amount of luggage. Check the spare wheel and jack just in case!
  • Checking the engine is vital. Keep an eye on the water and oil levels to avoid overheating or a breakdown.
  • Test the windscreen and lights too. The windscreen wiper reservoir should be full. Ensure the windscreen wipers are not damaged as this will affect your ability to see through the windscreen in bad weather. The law requires lights to be clean and in good working order.

Packing the Car

  • It is a good idea to pack the car the night before setting off to avoid the stress and chaos of last-minute packing. The majority of accidents happen in the first few hours after leaving the house due to this panic so save yourself the hassle by planning a checklist ahead of the journey. As the driver, the last thing you want on any car journey is to depart with a frazzled mind.
  • If you can, load the car so that the luggage is evenly distributed.
  • Don't leave objects lying around that can fly around if you are forced to brake suddenly.
  • One final piece of advice is to make sure that the spare wheel is easy to get to. Keeping luggage in hold-alls can help with this as suitcases are bulky and difficult to lift easily, particularly if you happen to be travelling alone.
Planning and preparation are critical when going on a lengthy car journey. This advice is simple but effective in taking the stress out of long trips.

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Oh! fools both is me (akarsha and batti)
batti - 1-Sep-12 @ 4:53 PM
it's a good advertisement and a advice when we travel in a car or any vehicle to be safe. it's a very good i love it !.
batti - 1-Sep-12 @ 4:48 PM
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