The Driver: Physical, Emotional and Mental Preparedness
Before you think about preparing your car for a long drive, you have to prepare yourself as the driver. Driving is not just a physical effort but involves Mental and Emotional preparedness as well to ensure a safe journey.
As the driver, you are ultimately responsible for the safety of yourself, your vehicle, your passengers and the people around you. One small mistake could lead to injury, damage to property or worse, death. To prevent accidents the driver must be physical, mentally and emotionally prepared to handle situations faced when driving.
Physical preparedness is important so that you are alert and awake during your journey. Driving for long periods of time is exhausting and tiring. Falling asleep while driving can cause fatal accidents so always make sure that you are well rested before holding the steering wheel.
Your Mental ability must be sharp when driving. As easy as driving may seem, people sometimes overlook how mentally taxing driving can be. A small lapse in concentration or judgment can lead to accidents. Your ability to perceive and react to changing road conditions is determined by how mentally prepared you are. Remember that Reaction time is always impacted whenever you are under the influence of illegal substances.
People take Emotional preparedness for granted but it is one of the keystones to ensure a safe journey. Driving during rush hour, traffic or any adverse driving conditions can be emotionally demanding and potentially ruining people’s moods and deteriorating their patience and that is why it is important to always keep your emotions in check whenever you are driving to avoid confrontation.
The Trip: Your Route, Places to Stay and Driving Conditions.
Planning the route to your destination is one of the most important aspects of preparing for a long road trip. There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to your route, one of the most important is the fuel stop if your journey consumes more than one tank full of fuel you have to consider stops to refuel your vehicle. Other factors are the weather, it is important to check the weather conditions ahead and check the weather forecast to ensure that you are prepared for the road conditions ahead.
The weather is one of the most crucial factors in considering your routes more especially for rough terrain as severe changes in the weather can affect the accessibility of the road. Things to consider when crossing over mountainous terrain in severe weather conditions are the possibility of sandstorms, rock slides, mudslides, rockfall, and fog that can compromise the safety of your trip.
Rest stops are one of the important considerations when choosing your route to ensure a comfortable and pleasant journey. Always make sure to plan stops along the way on a long trip to ensure that you and your passengers are well rehydrated and well fed. Driving hungry can significantly impair your driving ability.
The route you take also depends on the purpose of your trip, if your purpose is to get from point A to point B then taking the highway is always the priority when choosing the route but if your purpose is to have an adventure always make sure that your vehicle is prepared for the routes you are taking. Always plan for an alternate route.
The Vehicle: Double check everything
It is important to make sure that the vehicle is ready to take on the road before heading out for a long drive. Even if the vehicle is up to date with its maintenance, a throughout check of the vehicle is still necessary.
A basic checklist of the important aspects of the vehicle is listed below:
- Check the Oil level of the vehicle. The engine oil is important for the engine if the engine has less oil, it could lead to premature wear or worse an engine failure.
- The Radiator coolant level. The radiator coolant is important for the safe operation of the engine if the temperature exceeds normal, the engine could be damaged.
- The timing belt / Timing chain. The timing belt/ chain is almost always overlooked because they are rarely replaced and have a long operational life but a failure in this component could lead to a irreparable damage to the engine.
- Power Steering fluid and steering components. Always check that the power steering fluid is at recommended levels. A failure in the steering mechanism of the vehicle could lead to a loss of control resulting in a potentially fatal accident.
- Brake Fluids, Brake discs, and components. Always make sure that the brake fluid is at recommended levels to ensure reliable braking operation. Check if the brake discs are at optimum thickness.
- Battery and Electrical Components. Always check that the battery has enough charge and that the Vehicle’s alternator is able to charge the battery.
- Tire tread life. Always check if the tire is at the recommended thickness and inflated at the specified pressure. Make sure that the spare tire is usable
After checking and inspecting the important vehicle components for a safe and reliable operation of the vehicle it is also important to bring tools and equipment in the event of an emergency. These tools are always important to have in the vehicle at all times.
- Portable Air Compressor: Portable Compressors is the difference of quickly fixing a flat tire to our long ordeal. Even if the Portable Compressor does not fix the hole in the tire it may inflate the tire with enough pressure for the vehicle to make it to a servicing station.
- Tire Jack and Tire wrench: For tire failures that the air compressor can no longer inflate then manually replacing a tire is your only option.
- Car Jumper: Even if the car battery is relatively new always have a car battery jumper hand.
- Tow Rope: Even the most capable off-road vehicle always has a tow rope secured in the trunk for emergencies.
Always be prepared for emergencies and always have a first aid kit in the vehicle. Preparation for a long trip not only involves the vehicle, the driver or the route but also the passengers as well. Passengers must also help the driver with the overall safety of everyone by fastening their seat belts and ensuring that the driver is not distracted from the road.
Ezhire rent a car always ensures that the Car you drive is always prepared to take on the road wherever you go in Dubai and the UAE to make sure that your trip is as pleasant and convenient as possible.
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