Who doesn�t love long drives on stretches of unending road, enjoying the scenic landscapes as they pass by! Taking a break from the monotony of routine life and travelling to nearby destinations accessible by roads can give a rejuvenating experience that most of us look forward to, especially on long weekends? But while travelling along highways, certain tricks need to be followed to avoid letting simple things ruin the road trip for you.
Highways connect two cities or towns. Remember the following tips while driving on roads for a memorable ride.
A properly planned vacation never fails. Anticipate the kind of road and the kind of hill station you are going to, anticipate the weather, and plan accordingly. Have the car well serviced, tyre pressures checked, and fuel-filled up. If it�s monsoon season, make sure the wipers are working correctly.
While travelling along hills, always keep a slower speed than on a highway or a regular road. The reason is that hilly areas often have twists, turns, and bends, making it difficult to drive at high speed. Constant accelerating and braking are bad for mileage. Whether going uphill or downhill, a slower speed is recommended. While going uphill, the rate will help keep a constant momentum against gravity, but while coming downhill, the car gains momentum due to gravity. The speed should be adjusted by considering these facts. The rate should be maintained at a constant speed and slowed further when a curve is encountered. The centrifugal force should be remembered, and the temptation to bend a curve at high speed be avoided.
Avoid travel in hilly areas if it is raining or too foggy. In the rainy season, there is always a fear of landslides, which can be highly damaging because of the momentum the falling stones and mud gather while tumbling down. So it is safe to avoid travel in areas where landslides occur.
Fog can reduce visibility; sometimes, it's so thick that visibility is limited to a few meters ahead of the car. Seeing the road with twists and turns and oncoming traffic is difficult. Pedestrians and bullock carts are not visible till they come within the field of vision. Headlights/fog lights should be turned on during the day in extremely foggy conditions.
Avoid the temptation to overtake vehicles while on hilly roads. These roads are generally narrow, have sharp curves, blind turns, and have two-way traffic. It is better to go constantly and avoid overtaking, especially on the bends, which become blind to oncoming traffic. It is advisable to surpass only when back on a straight road.
Avoid stopping anywhere on a hilly road, and use an escape ramp if you must make a stop to avoid causing congestion on the already narrow hilly road.
Driving through a city can be herculean, especially during heavy traffic hours. The office goers, the school children, the daily commuters going about their usual business, the bike riders and pedestrians, the frequent stops at crossroads, and traffic signals can make the drive challenging. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your car in a city.
The first and foremost tip is to choose the car wisely. Suppose you live in a metro city which runs massive traffic at peak hours, and you commute daily to and from the workplace in this traffic. In that case, it is wiser to have a smaller car which is easier to fit through smaller places rather than having a big or long space-occupying car which doesn�t include smaller spaces. Of course, comfort inside the vehicle is equally important if you spend a sizeable amount of time travelling in the car. A vehicle that hits the best balance between the two is ideal.
An automatic car gives more comfort, removes the need to switch gears constantly, and doesn�t require constant pressing of the clutch, and hence is better for use.
Technology has made life a lot easier than before. Checking the different routes that lead to the planned destination and their respective traffic conditions can save a lot of time by choosing the best course available and avoiding roads with traffic piled up. The map also indicates a crash or an unexpected road closure.
Before navigating through city traffic, make yourself comfortable in your seat. Adjust the seat backrest and the distance between your legs and pedals, and make sure your legs are neither too stretched nor too cramped up. Adjusting position is also essential for maintaining a healthy driving posture, which can otherwise lead to chronic health problems like backache, neck pain, or knee pain, especially when you spend long hours on a daily commute through the city.
Mirrors are an essential part of a car as they function as the eyes for the back. Mirrors play a significant role while navigating through traffic, especially during peak hours, as leading the car through a web of other vehicles, bikers and pedestrians can become highly challenging, especially at crossroads, and mirrors help us to get a more comprehensive view around the car to help through the navigation.
Avoid the temptation to disobey general traffic rules due to hurry as they can often lead to unnecessary hassles. Follow lane discipline, obey traffic signals and keep the speed within allowable limits for a smooth city ride.
Maintaining a constant and lower speed is advisable, especially when traffic signals are at frequent intervals. Rapid accelerations, frequently pressing the clutch, and suddenly hitting the brakes all contribute to reduced mileage and performance of the car. Maintaining a slow speed and removing the foot from the throttle to bring the rate down in anticipation of a red signal well in advance rather than pressing on the brakes is good for the car's economy.
It has become an impulse to grab the mobile when the ping of notification sounds. However tempting it might be, avoid texting while driving at all costs. Texting while driving can be hazardous because the eyes and mind, two essential factors needed for concentration while driving on the road, get distracted, and this distraction doesn�t keep track of time. Many accidents have happened due to texting while going. So however late you are for the meeting, don�t try to send a message. Rather, place a call over the Bluetooth speakers, but avoid texting while driving.
Always indicate if you are trying to turn left or right, or trying to switch lanes, or slowing down for parking to the left. This gives an idea about what to expect from other car drivers and smoothens the drive.
So be it a highway, hill station, or city road, if you know and utilise certain tricks to make the journey smooth, the ride is always enjoyable. Happy journey!