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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 7th August 2013, 20:14   #1
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Default What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

I'm interested to your thoughts on which characteristics of a car create the most fatigue on a longer (more than 400km) journey on a faster road. Fatigue can lead to losing concentration or even falling asleep at the wheel - resulting crashes are about 50% more likely to result in death or serious injury as they tend to be high speed impacts.

Vibration
Excess heat
Low frequency road noise from tyres
Excess noise
Poor suspension/uncomfortable ride
Inaccurate or poor steering
Poor cornering at speed and inconsistent handling
Low frequency noise from engine/exhaust
Lack of feedback from road/rubbery feel to car
Poor driver ergonomics
Poor brakes
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Old 7th August 2013, 20:23   #2
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Ergonomics and vibration would be my top two.
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Old 7th August 2013, 20:39   #3
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Poor under thigh and back support.
Also poor ride quality.
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Old 7th August 2013, 20:42   #4
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

IMHO - The optimism of the nut connecting the steering wheel to the accelerator.

Most causes start because of indiscipline - long breaks, not driving sensibly in tune with the road / car, starting late, not avoiding peak travel hours etc.

Aside from that - traffic jams. Anything that requires over-exertion of one's mental faculties will contribute.

EDIT: Flatout - you have not included bad roads. Clearly UK ain't got no bad roads

Last edited by phamilyman : 7th August 2013 at 20:50.
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Old 7th August 2013, 20:43   #5
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

The most important thing missed in the options are Poor and Imperfect roads. Nothing beats the amount of exertion caused from it even if you have the best car in the world.
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Old 7th August 2013, 20:44   #6
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

I think all of them, but for me its the heat outside, and now that we dont have the comfort of the sun films either.
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Old 7th August 2013, 21:03   #7
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
IMHO - The optimism of the nut connecting the steering wheel to the accelerator.

Most causes start because of indiscipline - long breaks, not driving sensibly in tune with the road / car, starting late, not avoiding peak travel hours etc.

Aside from that - traffic jams. Anything that requires over-exertion of one's mental faculties will contribute.

EDIT: Flatout - you have not included bad roads. Clearly UK ain't got no bad roads
The question does say 'what characteristic of a car' - poor roads and poor drivers are something different. In the UK motorways and trunk roads are generally good but more minor ones are often awful.

Poor seating is something I missed, I find that in modern cars it is usually acceptably good at worst. In the past, I have unbolted seats and replaced them with something more supportive.

Last edited by FlatOut : 7th August 2013 at 21:06.
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Old 7th August 2013, 21:10   #8
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Poor driver ergonomics combined with bad roads would be the cause for exhaustion, personally for me. Heat is never a problem if your car air conditioning works fine, even minus the sun films. I use sun screen lotion and another good advantage of driving in summers is that the truck frequency is less and hence speeds can be maintained.
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Old 7th August 2013, 21:13   #9
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

I second DASS
Heat is the single most irritant and fatigue causing element.
Try driving with the A/C off on our highways..
The skin feels sticky and a layer of grime covers it,
The exhaust fumes of trucks in front of us that we breath in for the time it takes to overtake it makes that typical diesel smokey smell in the nose and a typical taste in the mouth (sorry cant describe the taste well somewhat like diesel smoke and sticky saliva and dry throat all rolled in one).
The shirt fabric on the back wet with sweat (man that rhymes doesn't it) hence you see the truck drivers in banyans or shirt less.
All this makes you irritated and angry.
Even with the A/C noon time in summer the heat from the suns rays really gets to you.

If that is taken care of then it is bad roads that is second most fatigue causing element.
You speed up then again brake, cut lanes and constantly watch the mirrors for carrying out the intended maneuver to avoid tires hitting the pothole.
Then there are the bad patches where you think you can carry more speed but you are mistaken and you get tossed around. It generally happens when there is no car on that bad patch so the condition of the road is misjudged.

If these two are not present all other conditions like poor suspension, bad handling, road and engine noise etc etc are almost equally fatigue causing.

Last edited by norhog : 7th August 2013 at 21:16.
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Old 7th August 2013, 21:16   #10
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Poor driver ergonomics. I've found I adjust quite well to the mechanical shortfalls of the car I'm driving over a prolonged period of time but if the driver ergonomics aren't right... I just feel bad. Especially under thigh support. Real deal breaker on long drives.
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Old 7th August 2013, 21:19   #11
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Excess heat
Inaccurate or poor steering
Lack of feedback from road/rubbery feel to car
I just did a 340 kms drive in my friend's car that handled badly and had very less road feel with no AC, This is a routine weekly drive I do in my Ford Fusion, there might have been more factors that contributed to the fatigue but, these are the ones that caused me to take more breaks than usual and I really felt like i was driving forever when I got to my destination.
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Old 7th August 2013, 21:25   #12
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatOut View Post
The question does say 'what characteristic of a car' - poor roads and poor drivers are something different. In the UK motorways and trunk roads are generally good but more minor ones are often awful.

Poor seating is something I missed, I find that in modern cars it is usually acceptably good at worst. In the past, I have unbolted seats and replaced them with something more supportive.
Apologies - I quickly scanned the title and the list. I personally think human reasons override car problems with most modern cars (excl trash like the Premier Rio).
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Old 7th August 2013, 21:55   #13
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

My opinion:- Constant low freq vibrations. Vibrations which the body can perceive (gut feel) with eyes and ears closed.

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Old 7th August 2013, 22:06   #14
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

The journey back home is more tiring than the one taking someone to exotic places.

Either the journey to office or the journey back home, depending on which boss terrifies you more.

How long is long? 200 km, or 2000 km? My definition of 'long' is not the next person's definition of 'long'.

A poorly maintained car that breaks down 6 times in one trip - that is tiring.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 7th August 2013 at 22:09.
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Old 7th August 2013, 22:14   #15
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Default re: What causes the most fatigue on a long journey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Apologies - I quickly scanned the title and the list. I personally think human reasons override car problems with most modern cars (excl trash like the Premier Rio).
Totally with you on that, we need to be on a psychology section of this forum though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by norhog View Post
I second DASS
Even with the A/C noon time in summer the heat from the suns rays really gets to you.

If that is taken care of then it is bad roads that is second most fatigue causing element.
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.

Modern small to medium sized cars (and plenty of bigger ones too) have very stiff suspension - too stiff in many cases, it's mainly fashion. Low profile tyres are appallingly bad at soaking up an irregularities, let alone potholes. In the UK, many have switched to SUVs because of their ability to ride over the worst roads with less damage to the suspension and less intrusion to the occupants.

With more sensibly-sized wheels and tyres and slightly softer suspension the average car could cope far better. Are there no specialists in India altering these things to make life safer and more comfortable? Tata themselves should be selling cars with balloon tyres and good suspension articulation to make the best of your roads. As I've mentioned elsewhere on here, the antiroll bar plays a huge part in making poor roads even worse.


I know what you mean about heat getting to you even with the AC on full. This is due to being surrounded by minimally-insulated metal which is radiating heat - a heat which is much more effective than hot air. Cold air struggles, especially when at the relatively low volumes which come through the little vents. I remember some cars being so well ventilated that even in 35C (which is very hot for a Yorkshireman!) the car's interior remained acceptably fresh. Internal airflow to maximise cooling is something not considered anymore - the engineers assume AC will do the job.

One answer would be to insulate - in Australia and Africa there are Land Rovers and the like with a secondary roof, to keep the rays off. Combined with modern insulation, the situation could be made much more bearable. I wonder if reflective foil would make much difference when the sun is at its strongest? Little can be done with regard to the steep rakes of the modern car windscreen, although I imagine people do cover the large expanse of black plastic dashboard top with light-coloured cotton?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
The journey back home is more tiring than the one taking someone to exotic places.

Either the journey to office or the journey back home, depending on which boss terrifies you more.

How long is long? 200 km, or 2000 km? My definition of 'long' is not the next person's definition of 'long'.

A poorly maintained car that breaks down 6 times in one trip - that is tiring.
Commuting is an unpleasant form of Western life which the whole world seems to be doing. The internet is slowly changing things, but it is slowly. Long? A poor engine with its noise and vibration tires me after a little more than an hour and a half or 200km. I deliberately didn't specify 'long' - but we all know when a trip becomes a 'long' one. For me, in Northern England, I would call a long journey one which takes more than three hours or which is more than 650km. This is plenty of time for a car's true abilities, or weaknessess, to begin to show themselves. As the brain tires, every noise, vibration, discomfort and inconsistency is multiplied until you can reach the point where even a decent-enough car can feel like a clunker. This is when a genuinely good car begins to shine.

I once drove the six cylinder Mercedes over a long distance, at around 180kmph. It was a warm day. I then transferred to a more modern Audi of similar size and with more power. At first experience the Audi would feel the better car - it feels to respond more quickly, feels more comfortable and feels faster. It flatters the driver - but after half an hour behind the four circles I realised how inferior the whole machine was - it wasn't just me adapting. Although quieter and lower revving, the engine wasn't as smooth, the handling at high speed not as sure, the ride edgy in comparison to the Mercedes', there was much more heat soak from the engine and exhaust, the steering was far less precise, the brakes less sure, all the messages less accurate and with more 'white noise' to confuse and tire. It is under conditions like those when you really begin to see what matters in a car. Both cars were my own and in proper working order.

I'm talking about travel uninterrupted by sleep, I think my longest was about 1200km around England one busy day, collecting items I had bought online, even buying a car. The particular car I was in was good (powerful, responsive engine with high gearing and a turbo to mask the layout of the four cylinders, the suspension the very best and roadholding exceptional) except for one thing - the steering. It grew more woolly and more vague until it began to irritate beyond about 750km.

Last edited by FlatOut : 7th August 2013 at 22:42.
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