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Getting ready for a long-distance trip
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: None
Date: 2001-04-30
Summer is the season where everybody is itching to hit the

road and drive to the country's most popular destinations.

However, before going out, there are a few things to keep in

mind to make the journey hassle-free.

A driver must be physically healthy and mentally alert on the start

of a long-distance journey. Stamina, concentration and

decisiveness are also required. Before rolling down the road on a

long trip, check out the following list to see whether you are really

up to the mark.

1. Did you have a restful night prior to the trip — that is, at least

six hours of sound sleep, and wake up without a trace of fatigue?

Make sure you did not take any medication that might cause

drowsiness later on. Strictly avoid taking tranquilizers.

2. You should feel fresh, and not too hungry or too full. Persons

suffering from epilepsy or intestinal disorders should resign

themselves to passenger seats. Extremely shortsighted drivers

should also do likewise. Are you mentally alert? Let others drive if

you are drunk or still struggling against hangover. Also, do not

drive if you are in an angry or depressed mood, deeply worried

about certain things, or perhaps want to reach your destination in

a rush.

3. Your attire must be sufficiently comfortable. Ladies should avoid

wearing high-heels while driving. Shoes with good ventilation are


4. Avoid clothes that are too tight. Pants are probably best for


Take along sunglasses that are not too dark, just in case you have

to drive through an extremely bright period of the day.

Car preparation

Take a close look at the following items:

1. Under the hood: check the coolant water in the expansion tank,

the dipstick, as well as the brake and clutch fluid. Make sure they

are at the proper level. Are the belts’ tension and condition

agreeable? Also check other items as recommended by your car


2. Outside: Is the pressure of all tires, including spare, too low or

too high? If in doubt, follow the manuals’ suggestions. What about

the lights and the horn, are they in good order?

3. Arrange the luggage, if any, in an orderly fashion. Those that are

movable while the car is in motion should be secured firmly in


4. Every car can safely carry so much loads, passengers or

otherwise. Too much weight could cause serious damages as a

result, for instance:

* Damage to the car – the engine has to work harder, thus

requiring more fuel and most probably will wear out sooner. The

car’s suspension system will also yield sooner as well;

* Car handling – It will take longer distance and more time to bring

the car to a complete stop. Its stability will also be adversely

affected. If the loads are in the back, the car’s front will lift up and

at night throw its headlight at cars passing in the opposite

direction, which could be fatal. Besides, a car in this condition is

difficult to control. It can only move slowly uphill, while its speed

downhill can be dangerously too fast.

To feel more confident, we recommend that you take the car to

your favorite service center and ask for a thorough long distance

check-up. Have a very pleasant long distance trip.

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