For those of you who aren’t truck drivers and who don’t spend most waking (and some sleeping) moments on the road, the thought of driving long distances might seem daunting. However, it’s not as bad as all that, as long as you prepare properly and expect the unexpected. The last thing you want to happen is to be stranded on the side of the road with something broken, either on the car or in your body. Make sure whatever vehicle you’re driving is in tip top shape, and more importantly make sure you yourself are in tip top shape, and that means eating, drinking plenty of water, and staying energized, and remember our tips for long distance driving.
The first stage to making sure your vehicle of choice is ready for long distance is to make sure the basics are all covered. If your tires need changing, get some new ones. If your brakes are weaker than they were ten years ago, get some new ones. If your oil is old and very dark in color, get some new oil. It might seem like basic and common sense, but some of this can go overlooked and if it does can cost you thousands of dollars worth of damage later.
During a long distance drive, parts on your car are going to undergo an amount of stress they might not be accustomed to. In other words, on a road trip you’re packing a ton of wear on your car’s components and in order to not be caught with your pants down (so to speak), have the car inspected for imminent failures. These can be a loose bolt, maybe a bad bushing, an oil leak you didn’t know you had, the list can go on forever. Just be sure of your car’s condition before you set off.
Take into account that you are not a robot, and depending on how far you’re going, you will need to stop to rest or you can die. To avoid death, plot your route in the way of multiple gas stops and camp grounds or wherever you can pull over for some quick Zs. Plan out how many miles you want to cover in a single day, and stick to it. If you decide to be a hero and go for more miles than you intended, you might face some premature conflicts.
Whenever you stop your car for a few moments, take a second to check out your major operating systems. Your cooling system, engine, brakes, tires, and anywhere that’s filled with oil (engine, transmission, differential) are all under heavy stress when driving a long distance, so make sure they are all operating properly and don't look suspicious. Check your oil, coolant, and brake fluid levels when you stop as well.
Your car can be in tip top shape, no problems at all or ever, but if you yourself are not in the best shape, nothing else will matter. Drink lots of water because of the sun and heat, eat plenty of calories dense with vitamins, and stay energized. If you feel fatigue or sleepy, pull over and get some rest.
Driving long distances doesn’t have to be dangerous, and if you keep all of these things in mind then you won’t have very many unforeseen problems. You might not have any problems at all, as a matter of fact. So be sure to be as prepared as possible for when you go on a long distance drive.
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