While swanky offices (AutoPortal just moved into its new office premises – hence the mention), weekend parties, and little time-outs mean summers aren’t as painful, but the need to have a vacation never dies. And what could be better than a getaway from the concrete jungle and the mundane life associated with it! But before you head out for a quick summer break, here are some pointers that should be kept in mind for hassle-free motoring this summer.
Routine check ups
Road trips are certainly relaxing than morning/evening commutes, but given that your average speed is expected to be higher, and also, you’ll be driving over longer durations, it’s necessary for the car to be in proper shape.
The slightest of an issue can effectively ruin your vacation plans, so the best way out of this is to get your vehicle checked/serviced before embarking on a journey. As a rule of thumb, just check the fluid levels and ensure the onboard diagnostic system isn’t indicating anything before leaving the house.
(You can also read about our guide on how to maintain your car during summers here)
Last minute plans might satiate your desire to be Indiana Jones of sort, but the lack of preparedness can be harmful. While mapping the route is essential, make sure that you mark points of interest and emergency contacts.
Keep a first aid kit, a few bottles of water, chocolates, and ready to eat snacks along with you. The vehicle’s registration documents, licenses, and PUC (Pollution Under Control) certificate shouldn’t be forgotten, either.
Check the spare tyre for pressure, and see if the tool-box has all the tools as well.
Keep minimum loads
While travelling light might not be in our genes, it’s best to keep minimum (and only necessary) luggage while going on road trips. Also, the added luggage, be it inside the cabin or loaded on the roof-mounted carrier shouldn’t obstruct the driver’s view. Extras like bicycle racks shouldn’t protrude, either.
Avoid rush hour traffic
Avoid driving in/out of the city during rush hours i.e. the time when office commuters are either on their way to office or are heading back home. Early morning is the best time to get out of the city limits.
A small caveat though, just be aware of the traffic as you hit the highway, because the existing traffic there is likely to be travelling overnight, so they might not be as attentive as others. Maintain some distance and avoid close maneuvers.
Driving to a place a thousand kilometers away from your home isn’t a problem, but driving non-stop can certainly be. It’s always wise to divide the journey in parts so that you don’t over-exert yourself or your car.
Taking quick breaks will also ensure that you fighting against fatigue, or are ‘dead-tired’ by the time you reach your destination. To make sure that you aren’t running against the clock, keep these breaks into consideration while planning your trip.
Belt ‘em up! Make sure that all of the occupants use seat belts, and stray objects are kept to a minimum. In case of an unfortunate event, stray objects like small bags, toys, bottles, etc. can be harmful.
Also, if you’re accompanied by a pet, make sure that it’s secured, and is leashed when taken out of the vehicle. Midway stops are generally by the side of the road, and unsecured pets can run towards the traffic, unknowingly causing accidents and even loss of life.
Make the drive memorable
Selfies might be in fashion, but doing so while driving should be completely avoided. Click pictures/record videos but don’t do so at the cost of safety. Alternatively, you could use one of the action cameras (like GoPro), mount in inside/outside the vehicle and create beautiful timelapse videos.
Avoid playing movies on the in-dash entertainment units as they can be very distracting for the driver. Tablet PCs, rear screens (if your car has them) make more sense here.
Avoid sudden temperature changes
The moment you step out of your car’s air-conditioned environment into the sweltering sun, you subject your body to a rapid change in temperature. That not only makes the heat a lot more irritating, it is very harmful to your health. To avoid so, increase the temperature/reduce the fan speed as you inch closer to your destination.
Do the same while getting into the car after a long time. Roll down the windows, switch on the AC so that it pushes the hot air out gradually. This will eventually mean that the temperature change isn’t as sudden, while AC cooling will become more apparent, too.
Keep the points in mind and enjoy your road trip. Also, if there's anything that you would like to add to the list, please add in the comments section below.