Road Survival Guide: Dealing with Hardships on the Road
If you intend to take a long distance drive, say a road trip, you will have to do a lot more planning than you usually do when driving to work or for quick errands at the mall. Long distance driving exerts a lot more strain on you, the driver, and your car. It is crucial that you factor in possibilities of hardships such as mechanical problems and issues with other road users while you prepare for your trip. Pre-empting problems does not necessarily mean wishing for them, it pays to be prepared to deal with any hardships you may encounter to safely reach your destination. Here are some great ideas to be prepared and deal with any difficulties that may arise.
1) Since you will be driving for a long distance, you should make sure that the car is well equipped and serviced for the journey. Check the engine, engine oil and clear the air filter to avoid issues on the road. Also, ensure that the tires are good enough to get you where you are going. If they are worn out, consider replacing them before you get started. Take out your map and find out the estimate distance to your destination and ensure you have enough cash to buy gas to get you there. Remember, there are no guarantees that the fuel stations shown on a map are still open or will have fuel when you need it.
2) Stock your car with enough supplies to keep you alive for at least a week in the event you get stuck somewhere and help is nowhere nearby. This means you should have enough drinking water and food as well as other basic necessities such as towels and bandages. While you are at it, check your first aid kit to make sure it has all the medications and medical necessities and ensure that the fire extinguisher in the car is functional and full. You never know when you will need it.
3) When completing your plans, factor in rests and rest breaks. You should not drive continuously for five hours, the toll on you may cause you to be careless and that will not end well. Plan for regular breaks, note down where you will stop for fuel and meals and where you will spend the night if the road trip takes longer than a day. Most accidents occur because drivers choose to ‘drive just a little further’ even when they are clearly tired. Take advantage of designated rest areas or find a cool place on your way to stretch and relax.
4) When you stop over to get food or to rest, be sure to perform some basic checks on the car just to be sure everything is fine. These include checking tire pressure, ensuring that coolant water is still full and checking brake fluid and engine oil. When you carry out these checks, it eliminates the possibility of breakdowns in the middle of nowhere.
5) Human factor is another problem most drivers face. The secret to avoiding confrontations that may lead to violence, always drive proactively not aggressively. Sudden surprises on the road, making sharp unindicted turns and reacting quickly to situations may trigger anger with other drivers and there are some really bad people out there who may not take such behavior kindly. Be polite, and when you feel emotionally impaired, do not drive. Find somewhere to relax and cool down before you resume your journey.
These five ideas should help you deal with most issues that arise on the road particularly when driving for long distances. Next time you are planning a road trip or a long journey, consider them.
James McDonnel contributed this guest post. James is an automotive enthusiast and a freelance writer. He writes for wish.co.uk and he enjoys rare driving experiences.