An interview with Nick from ODOS
I asked Nick from Odos what his advice would be for someone who is about to embark on a long distance drive. “Obviously there would be things relevant to where the person was driving to and at what time of day.
Basically, if you are about to embark on a long distance drive essential things to consider would include being well rested and having planned the trip well ahead, both on paper and in your head. Having planned your trip before leaving makes a difference in your mind while you are moving along busy roads and travelling at high speeds.
When you are approaching an intersection and you know that you have to take an exit it helps when you know what road names you are looking for. Without this kind of prior thinking you have to change your driving speed at unexpected times to check your next move. This can be distracting to other drivers as well as yourself and creates potential hazards.”
Using a GPS as a guide helps a great deal in your bearings. It has made a big impact on how we navigate our journey but even so, having an idea in the back of your mind as to the roads that you will be using helps you have confidence in what you are doing as you move along.
Nick also advises not getting involved in peak hour traffic by thinking about the timing of your travel. “Personally I would leave early to avoid the build up of traffic at peak hour. I would usually plan my drive so that by the time it is daylight I would be out of the city and onto the main highway. I would take a stop every 2-3 hours, have some refreshment and have a quick check of my car.” Rest stops are important in long drives so that you don’t get drowsy and let your mind loose focus. Sitting in one position for hours at a time is tiring on your muscles too, especially these days with automatic cars. Give your tired muscles a break, get out of the car have a bit of a stretch.
This topic is a straight shooter for Nick. He is very specific about not having any alcohol in your blood stream at the time of commencing your drive and advises drivers to not consume alcohol from as much as 48 hours prior to a long drive. Pre-planning is one of Nick’s favourite strategies in driving and he believes in planning the drive from the week before so that you have time to check that your car is in a safe condition. “Check your oil, water and lights. Check the pressure on your tyres and make sure that if you have any maintenance problems with your car that they are addressed before you go anywhere. Pack your car well and remember not to have and loose objects in the car that can float because they can cause serious injury in the case of a sudden stop.”
His advice, “Keep out of their way. If they are in a hurry try and pull off the road onto the side so that you can let them pass. Stay clear of trucks. Their reaction time is much slower than yours. Don’t break suddenly if they are close behind you and keep constantly checking ahead and around to be aware of your surroundings and conditions so that you can make a good judgment call to maneuver to safety if necessary.”
Produced for The RoadMinders