It’s time to plan your next road trip.
Is listening to political news getting you down? Want to get away from bustling crowds, slow down and breathe in fresh air and marvel at natural wonders? Then now is always a good time to plan for holidays and long road trips, to test your imagination and to research exciting ideas. Over eleven months lie ahead in 2017 for you to pore over maps, websites and calendar, to contact friends and families, check your car maintenance and safety and don’t forget yourself for routine health checks too, before departure.
Here are some ideas for road trips in different countries. Also read on for scary road moments involving a sinking car from a barge crossing and a snake escapee on the windscreen. With the wild weather especially in northern climes, check out the 10 tips for driving on wintry roads.
Road trips in different countries
If you are interested in driving in USA, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Ireland, Africa or Europe, my Pin Board ‘Long Drive’ may create a spark of adventure for you.
It is always easier to learn from others especially for hair raising moments. Now for some scary road trip moments which happened recently. Look and learn wisely.
Ferry and barge crossings
If your route involves a ferry or river punt crossing, do make sure to apply the handbrake once you have parked in position. Want to know what happens if you don’t? Check out this ending to a rented 4WD on its way to Fraser Island, in Queensland, Australia when it rolled off the back of a barge. Along with the car went mobiles, passports and other valuables. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-31/4wd-falls-off-barge-on-way-to-fraser-island/8155676?WT.mc_id=newsmail&WT.tsrc=Newsmail
Wild animals can also be a hazard. If you are driving in the countryside, how would you react if you found a snake on your windscreen? In Australia, it is not uncommon to see snakes sunbathing on roads and curled up inside warm engines. Check out this story on the stowaway red – bellied black snake story in South Australia and view the short video. http://www.smh.com.au/national/redbellied-black-snake-gets-the-ride-of-its-life-20170104-gtm0x3.html
Extreme weather around the world
At this time of year, weather patterns are extreme. Much snow has fallen in the northern hemisphere with icy road conditions and down south of the equator there are bushfires and huge summer storms with winds and lightning. All these conditions require extra caution when driving.
10 tips for driving on wintry roads
1.Check weather. If the weather is fierce, delay your departure if possible.
2. Be physically prepared. Be rested, fed and hydrated.
3. Top vehicle condition. Know that your vehicle is in peak condition e.g. tyre pressures, oiled and greased, water in windscreen washer tank, wiper blades working, all lights working, battery is charged.
4. Continually road conditions. Check the weather forecasts, news broadcasts and road safety apps.
5.Charged mobile. Ensure your mobile phone is charged. Have emergency road service numbers and apps installed.
6. Alert others to your plan of action. Ring ahead and let others know your route and expected time of arrival
7. Keep fuel tank half full. Keep your fuel tank no less than half full along the route.
8. Have Winter safety kit. Have a safety kit in the car. For winter have an ice scraper and brush, snow shovel, tow rope, blanket, portable flashlight, warning triangle, high viz vest as well warm clothing. Also spare food and water and spare medication.Some recommend kitty litter for sprinkling on snow for better wheel traction.
9. Driving on icy roads. On icy or slippery roads, keep your speed down, don’t use cruise control, keep headlights on, keep extra distance from other cars and don’t brake hard. If you are skidding, don’t touch the brakes but steer gently where you want to go.
10. What to do if snowbound. If you are snowbound, stay with your vehicle. Check exhaust pipe is not clogged with ice or snow. Tie something bright onto your car for rescuers to find you. Use everything you have to insulate your body from the cold such as the floor mats. Run the engine for short times and use the heater sparingly to conserve fuel.Have one cabin light on for rescuers to see you or use your safety portable flashlight.
The best secret to any successful road trip is to be as prepared as possible. Plan as much as possible for your long distance drive.
For more information on different items to think and plan for your next road trip, see my earlier blogshttp://www.longdistancedriving.com/2016/07/23/take-a-long-road-trip-and-enhance-your-well-being/
Until next month, safe driving.