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View Poll Results: Which characteristics of a car create the most fatigue on a longer, faster journey?
Vibration 11 7.43%
Excess heat 14 9.46%
Low frequency road noise from tyres 0 0%
Excess noise 7 4.73%
Poor suspension/uncomfortable ride 50 33.78%
Inaccurate or poor steering 3 2.03%
Poor cornering at speed and inconsistent handling 4 2.70%
Low frequency noise from engine/exhaust 1 0.68%
Lack of feedback from road/rubbery feel to car 0 0%
Poor driver ergonomics 38 25.68%
Poor brakes 2 1.35%
other - please state 18 12.16%
Voters: 148. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 8th August 2013, 14:38   #46
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Wind hitting the forehead neck and chest is a major contributor if you dont use A/C.

--R
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Old 8th August 2013, 14:50   #47
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Dear Flatout sir,

Good thing I read the entire thread. Else, my answer would be different.

As far as car-related factors go, I have only 2 things:
1. Poor driver ergonomics. This is the most important one for me.
2. Poor handling and suspension. This would be my choice if the ergonomics are good.

Rest, all of the factors I don't have much issues with even during very long drives. My longest drive has been of 12 hrs., completing dome 800 kms.

But, above all, the greatest factor which is responsible for my tired-ness is: Conjunctival xerosis. Its a very less recognized problem in a lot of long distance drivers. I use dark glasses and some eye drops, but at the end of the day, this is the most important factor which just tires me out.

Thanks,
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Old 8th August 2013, 14:57   #48
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Actually the options you have listed are all enticing enough to vote but if i have to rate top three, I would say -

1 - Excess Noise
2 - Poor suspension/uncomfortable ride
3 - Poor cornering at speed and inconsistent handling

I have done many long drives (like max of 800Km in a day, 3500 in a week). Although there could be many things that would tire you like noise, road conditions, oncoming vehicle high beams and what not, the most tiring one is the vehicle itself. If the vehicle has better suspensions and ride or has better drivability/ handling, many others would be bearable!

And needless to say the non-roadworthiness of the car would frustrate and not just make tired
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Old 8th August 2013, 15:29   #49
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

What about something akin to tunnel vision that occurs when you drive at speeds for over a few hours? You focus only on whats in front of you and tend to not observe towards the sides.
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Old 8th August 2013, 15:54   #50
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

I feel that

1. Poor suspension setup
2. Poor driver ergonomics

are relevant. However there is a third point which i felt is as important as the two i have listed; Driver posture. If the driver doesn't know how to adjust his seat properly and hold the steering correctly, he will not be driving/having a comfortable ride.
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Old 8th August 2013, 16:33   #51
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Most of the obvious points have already been made by other members, so I won't add anything new in the areas already touched.

I'll however bring in a new aspect which I have observed to increase (rather than directly cause) fatigue when driving long distances on highways. Most people on the highways tend to use the car's AC in full blast, or sometimes direct the AC blowers to their faces to get temporary relief from the sun's heat. What this does over a few hours is dehydrate the face and especially the eyes of the driver.

Now when the driver's eyes are dried up easily due to the AC, his eyes start to burn, increasing the frequency of blinking. He will soon have difficulty seeing ahead due to the eye fatigue. The net result is a "when will this journey end??" feeling as the journey time progresses.

On a separate but related note, some people start to get stuffy noses when the AC blower jet is directed at their faces, perhaps owing to the same reason as with the eyes - dehydration due to the constant AC air blowing, leading to the nasal irritation. On long highway journeys, I use 100% AC to prevent dust from getting in, but I have the practice of turning the blowers away from the faces of passengers for a win-win situation (unless they ask for and adjust it themselves).

Last edited by KarthikK : 8th August 2013 at 16:54.
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Old 8th August 2013, 17:26   #52
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
...won't pain too drains our alertness? Pain in many parts of the body due to poor ergonomics does often take our mind off from the road. Ain't this reduced alertness?
A little discomfort actually keeps you more alert - too much comfort is as bad as very little comfort, of course, but I find that setting up the seat to be a bit more upright than I'd prefer, or a little too close to the steering than would be considered perfect, usually helps to stay more focused on the road. I keep changing seat setup every few hours just for this reason.
Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
And needless to say the non-roadworthiness of the car would frustrate and not just make tired
Try running repairs or changing a flat tyre on a summer afternoon and you'll know what tiredness is!
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatOut View Post
I've yet to find out how bad your roads are. Are potholes sharp-edged and more than 100mm deep? There were French cars around from the 1950s-1980s which could handle the most atrocious roads at high speed with little more than a distant thump heard - with little or no movement of the body. French roads in the 1940s and 50s were very, very poor - many English cars which went there apparently never made it back in one piece! Cobbled roads, poor foundations, roads in poor repair with the ravages of six years of war etc. made French suspension what it was.
So play the video below to find out (this is from August 2013)! The French would have stopped making cars and the British would have stopped waging wars if they saw the condition of roads in India in the 1940s and 50s. Oh wait... I think this was one of the main reasons they left India after the mid-40s!


EDIT: For comparison, to benefit our Indian readers, this is the kind of potholes that really bother folks in UK.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 8th August 2013 at 17:37.
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Old 8th August 2013, 17:41   #53
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

From the points listed, I voted for Poor suspension/uncomfortable ride. Other than that, one of the key fatigue creators for me is the blinding lights from the oncoming traffic.

And a few kms on bad roads like the one shown below can be quite tiring.
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Old 8th August 2013, 17:55   #54
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

All the options listed in the poll are hygiene factors, features that are expected in any modern car on the market.

IMO, The main aspects that help reduce driver fatigue:

Adequately powered engine: Ability to quickly and easily overtake multi-axle trucks and other common vehicles found on the highway

User controlled suspension; one that lets you alter the suspension characteristics based on the driving conditions. Today such features are found in only very high end cars. If ABS and Airbags are offered on almost all cars, then steps should be taken to offer this technology down market

User controlled seats: Automatic lumbar, back, under-thigh adjustable seats atleast for driver. Believe me this makes a tonne of difference on long journeys.

Navigation: Very important especially when you doing long distant journey on a new route. Should offer information about fuel stations, fast foods, rest rooms, auto repair, hospital etc.

Lighting: Lighting which help illuminate a longer stretch of the highway, use of projector lamps and/or HID lights.

Last edited by bharatbs : 8th August 2013 at 17:59.
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Old 8th August 2013, 18:33   #55
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

From my experience,
  • Lights of oncoming vehicles,
  • lack of good music to keep your mind awake,
  • lack of sleep the previous day,
  • Seat height - cause me sever hip pain.Maybe its just me.
  • tight footwear - pressing the pedals would cause pain in the sole of our feet after a period of time
  • Incorrect posture due to a bad seat back
  • And most importantly-back seat drivers who dictate what you should do when they see vehicles in front
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Old 8th August 2013, 19:07   #56
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Excessive noise can be killingly tiring.
Of course driving in India there are many things that make you tired or cause you to experience near death situations which can also possibly cause heart attacks and things.
Coming out of a journey unscathed, in our great country, we have to quite literally count our blessings.
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Old 8th August 2013, 19:39   #57
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Great thread. This is one area that people do not consider while choosing the car. I think many people have mentioned points that are not directly related to the characteristics of a car as well here. As I understand, the very reason why this thread is here is to find out what car to buy if you are a frequent long distance traveller. The other factors like starting a journey early, choosing good roads, wearing comfortable clothes and footwear, etc. are to be taken care of irrespective of the car you choose. All the more, the car cannot be changed frequently.

In fact, I feel almost all the factors listed above contribute to fatigue. However, especially when you are driving fast, handling and steering feedback / precision plays an important role, IMO. Also, the lack of good brakes as per my experiences causes tremendous fatigue. Lack of handling, steering feel, brakes, etc. keeps us in tremendous tension all the time, which in turn contribute to fatigue.

Last edited by devansn : 8th August 2013 at 19:45.
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Old 8th August 2013, 19:53   #58
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatOut View Post
The question is about the motor car and its characteristics, not urban geography, road design, town planning, other motorists' cars or human psychology. If roads were smooth, empty and straight then even a poor design of car may feel ok.
Point taken. However, the vote and the forum are primarily directed to an Indian audience. I had thought to expand the scope of the discussion, to factors extraneous to the vehicle per se.
This was done purely due to the fact, that the large majority of the driving population here do not drive fancy vehicles with super smooth suspensions, super quiet engines, super efficient NVH - in fact they choose vehicles based on economics. So, yes! agreed such drivers might fare far worse than the owner of the fancier merc on an ideal butter-smooth road, but the small point remains, that they would fare far far worse on a road less than ideal.
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Old 8th August 2013, 20:49   #59
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
that they would fare far far worse on a road less than ideal.
Please consider that in India, ergonomics and vehicle design is(are) not the only fact(ors) that play(s) on the driver on a long drive. People are sufficiently aggravated even on a short drive of a few kilometers due to driver (and driven) unfriendly conditions.
So, the point about a long drive of a few hundred kilometers is a moot one here. Indian roads are not like UK roads. In the UK, you can put a car on Cruise control, and keep a watchful eye and expect nothing worse than a short tapping of the brake-pedal when (and if) required.
In India, you need to keep your eyes, ears, and the remaining 4 senses (yes! includes your 6th sense) completely attuned to the environment that you are driving through.
That saps energy! possibly more than the mercs and the bmw's could account for.

Last edited by joybhowmik : 8th August 2013 at 21:18.
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Old 9th August 2013, 01:58   #60
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Tiredness depends on the road condition, driver and the vehicle.

Let me start with how it depends on the road condition-

For example in a 6 lane highway one can drive for 500kms with out much issues but driving for 100kms in hill roads need much more concentration and is more tiring. Similarly driving in busy cities or crossing small towns with too many cyclists and unruly bikers add to get tired faster. Negotiating a road of 50kms with full of pot holes or bad roads are also tiring.

How it depends on the driver


For me tiredness is directly proportional to the concentration you need to pay while driving. In highways i have noticed if one drives in a sedate way its much more comfortable than maintaining speeds like 120+. It can be much more tiring as it needs much more attention/concentration.

Now there will be a lot of difference between a new driver and an experienced driver. A new driver will be panicked and will be in his toes negotiating a offbeat situation where as the experienced driver will take it with ease. End result the new driver will be fatigued much faster.

So if one can remain cool/ calm, he can get less tired. A lot depends on the way you drive and the way you take the drive. Enjoy the drive you will not get tired fast but try to drive like a maniac or trying to put some record for your own satisfaction , it will add both risk factor and tiredness.

Now how it depends on the vehicle-


The comfort level of the vehicle. Like power steering(Driving a non PS car in hills or in city at peak traffic hours is tiresome), light/hard clutch, suspension set up, Ac non Ac. (Driving a non ac car with constant wind blast in the face is very tiresome for a longer journey.)
A vehicle with good pick up is always welcome as it makes the cruising much faster and over taking maneuvers need less planning too rather than having a car with poor pick up and speed. Now the car must have good driving dynamics. Doing 80-90km/hr in a maruti omni will be risky and make the driver fatigue soon wheres a swift/Dzire can do that comfortably keeping the driver comfortable.
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