Road Safety

Road Safety

Preparing for an Indian Road Trip

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There are few things in life as enjoyable as a simple road trip, and successful drives have always been the result of careful planning. Team-BHP shows you how to plan your trip.

Preparing the car:

  • Tune up your car by having it serviced and checked at least a week before the trip. This advance check-up will head off possible problems on the road and give you enough time to fix any errors caused by the mechanic such as loose fuses and filters.
  • Start your trip with a full tank of fuel and make it a habit to fill up at the ½ level rather than letting it run down to near empty. We also recommend buying fuel only from company-owned petrol stations in large towns.
  • Carry a can of engine oil and radiator coolant in the trunk. If you drive an older car it would be wise to stock up on extra hosepipes and fan belts, too.
  • Learn how to change your tyres. In addition to a puncture repair kit, you should bring an extra inner tube. Most highway tyre-repair shops do not have the facilities to repair tubeless tyres.
  • Duplicate keys will help if you lock yourself out of the car. Carry them in your wallet so they don’t get locked in the car, too.
  • Dont forget to carry a photocopy of the car's documentation i.e. registration book, tax receipts, insurance and so on.
  • Have fog-lights fitted on your car in case you encounter extreme weather conditions. They will also be useful if your headlights malfunction.
  • Carry the 24-hour roadside assistance number if you have this service.

Other things to carry:

  • Cash because credit and ATM cards often don’t work in small towns and villages. Loose change can make toll payments fast and convenient.
  • Maps if you are driving on unfamiliar roads. Team-BHPians recommend WIAA, TTK, Eicher and Lonely Planet India maps.
  • A mobile phone with a roaming facility and don’t forget the charger.A camera with extra film or memory.
  • A first aid kit and medicine for common ailments like carsickness, colds, headaches and upset stomachs.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, bring an extra pair with you.
  • Bring snacks and drinking water; these can be a boon in traffic jams.
  • If you are traveling with children, pack some baby food, finger food and juice. You should also think about bringing toys to keep them occupied.
  • CDs and cassettes; music will provide entertainment and keep your mind alert on the long drive.

Planning:

  • Plan out a tentative schedule.
  • Make hotel reservations well in advance if you are planning an overnight trip.
  • Research good restaurants along your route.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before your road trip. Being well rested will help you concentrate on the road.
  • Wear light, comfortable clothing for the trip.
  • Avoid night driving: security is an issue and bad road conditions are hard to see at night.
  • Start early to beat the city traffic.
  • Take a break every 90 minutes and use this time to get out of the car, stretch and have some refreshments.

Related Article:
Technocrats List of Long-Drive Essentials

 
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