Driving Long Distances.



Driving long distance, traveling thousands of miles by car, has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are getting to know new surroundings, people, customs, foods etc. The disadvantages are the need to pace oneself, to not overdo what can be done in a day and not to over estimate one's ability to stay alert.
Always try to plan ahead, check your route, investigate possible points of interest and turn every day into a bit of an adventure even though the goal is to reach a certain destination at day’s end.
Driving home long distance can thus be used to extend the holiday by a few more days, but here’s the shocker. Not everyone feels that way. Far more often than we like we meet people along the way, in rest stops for example, who make us feel like we’re crazy. “Six days to go home?” they blurt in amazement, “we do the same distance in three!”
Then they outline how they rise at 3:00 a.m. and have already traveled 350 miles before stopping for breakfast somewhere.
That is a shocker, isn’t it? Think about it. Here you are pacing yourselves, taking turns driving, asking the other whether he/she would like to be relieved, and there, in the oncoming lane, is someone who has been driving for hours like an automaton, and surely is not the most alert driver on the freeway. How often do we hear of accidents, where the description includes the statement, “road conditions were good at the time of the accident and are not believed to have been a factor; alcohol also is not believed to have been the cause." So, what else is there? Is it paranoid to suggest that driver fatigue might be responsible far more often than we all realize?
Please, take this to heart. Especially when roads are dry and straight, and the center line hypnotically guides you along. When road and weather conditions are challenging, it’s easier to stay alert; the most dangerous stretches are the ones that don’t demand much of anything beyond holding the steering wheel and keeping the gas pedal depressed. Even worse, of course, is driving with cruise control engaged.
I beg you. When driving long distance, don’t use cruise control for hours on end. Don’t drive such long stretches that you and your partner must take turns sleeping while the other drives. Four eyes are better than two. Conversation helps keep the driver alert. Sing! Munch away on carrots and celery sticks! - And don’t plan tours that involve driving day and night.
Driving long distances can be fun, and if you take your time, all benefits of the holiday will not be lost by the time you are home again.

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