The Off-Road Road Trip: 4 Things That Can Easily Go Wrong

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When you picture a road trip, nothing negative comes to mind. You’re on the open road with the wind blowing through your hair and the tunes blasting out through the speaker. Road trip, baby! Thinking about everything which can go wrong is fruitless. What’s the point in fretting over something which might or might not happen further down the road?

The thing is, it’s not rare for things to pop-up and ruin the experience. All of a sudden, your dream turns into a nightmare as you’re up a proverbial creek without a paddle. While meticulous planning is not an option – you want some freedom – it is wise to consider the pitfalls which will put the brakes on the entire trip.

At least that way you can avoid any nasty and unnecessary surprises. With that in mind, here are four things that aren’t uncommon and how to fix them.

A Driving Record

Let’s face facts – every motorist has done things they aren’t proud of. For the most part, you try and put them behind you and attempt to be a better person. Of course, there are a few black marks on your file which don’t go away. Driving under the influence is one of them because it’s a criminal offense.

If you got a DUI, the last thing on your mind at the time would be a rental. The potential fine and jail time were more pressing matters. Unfortunately, even a slap on the wrists might bring a halt to the journey before you’ve started. Although it’s not impossible to lease a vehicle with a DUI, it’s a lot tougher than in the past.

The rental company might perform a background check of your license and make a judgment call. They don’t want to lose out due to your indiscretions. Your options are to be upfront and to sign a disclaimer form if they demand one. A tip: Enterprise doesn’t check the DMV database and only require a valid license.

The Gas Tank

It’s empty and needs filling up. Worse, you’ve been to the gas station and now it’s making a funny noise. Wait a minute – did you use petrol or diesel? Whoops. Sometimes, the car company won’t tell you what type of gas it uses and that’s a problem. You can make a gut choice, but get it wrong and you’ll have to pay up.

Although it’s an obvious fix, be sure to ask about the tank before leaving. Another important factor is the return policy. Lots of rentals have a full-to-full rule where they provide a full tank of gas and you have to return it in the same condition. This is more serious than it sounds as thriftier road trippers like to calculate the costs to stay on budget.

One option is to pick a car with a full-to-empty plan.

Collisions

Crashes are pretty common around the world with over six million of them in the US per year on average. Usually, you’re not bothered about an accident as you feel in control behind the wheel. However, this trip, you’re jacked up on adrenaline. Plus, it’s a different model than you drive back home and need to get used to the controls.

The thing you can control is yourself, so stick to the basics. Drive to the speed limit and never lose focus. If you get tired, pull over and switch. That’s one of the perks of having a car full of designated drivers.

Also, always make sure the navigator does their job properly. Because you’re not used to the roads, they should give you detailed instructions. Even if it’s a simple “take the next left,” it lets you concentrate on the most important thing: driving.

No Cell Reception

The point of the trip is to get away from life for a while. You don’t need cell phone reception – it needs you! Except, you need it in case something goes wrong. It’s always nice to have a backup should you get lost or run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.

Speaking of directions, your satellite navigation system might use the internet. Lots of tech-savvy road trippers use a phone and Google Maps combo because it’s easy. Therefore, you’re going to need cell reception to stay on the right track.

You might not think you can mess with Mother Nature, but a signal booster does just that. Alternatively, bring a retro sat nav like a Tom-Tom to pick up the slack if your cell fails.

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Knowing What to Do In an Emergency Situation on the Roads

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New drivers tend to be a little hesitant when it comes to taking to the open road without professional supervision. This isn’t all too surprising. Public roads can be scary places! You have to pay so much attention to various different things at once – not only for your own sake, but for the sake of other drivers, pedestrians, and wildlife too! You have to know how to handle your car correctly. You need to keep an eye on what other vehicle users are doing. You need to accommodate your driving to adverse weather conditions. You need to slow your speed and take further control when road surfaces alter. No matter how experienced you may be on the roads, this is a lot of information to take in and you never know when you might have to face problematic driving conditions. There’s always a chance that things could take a turn for the worse. So, whether you’ve just passed your test, or whether you’ve been driving for years, it’s extremely important that you know what to do if you do find yourself in an emergency situation on the roads. Here’s a little information that should help you along the way!

Stop

As we are all well aware, you should stop as soon as is safely possible when you have been involved in a road collision. Failing to stop could see you face serious fines and even jail time – not to mention the fact that you’ll have to carry the weight of leaving an emergency situation on your shoulders for the rest of your life. So, pull over and turn your engine off.

Call for Medical Assistance

If you are in a fit state, you should then survey the scenario. Determine whether anyone has been injured or otherwise harmed in the accident. If anyone has come to physical harm, or if anyone is suffering from shock, you need to call for professional medical help. The emergency services are generally your best bet. Call operators will be able to let you know what to do until emergency crews arrive. Then the pros can take over once they arrive.

Collect Details

If there are no physical injuries, you may need to turn your attention to damage to your property or others’ property. It is generally best to collect various details from all parties involved. They may also ask for your details, so make sure that you have them and are capable of providing them. Details to exchange should include full names, the make and model of vehicles involved in the incident, the registration numbers of vehicles involved in the incident, insurance details, and contact numbers for future negotiations. You can then use all of these details to file an insurance claim.

Take Photographs

If you intend to get in touch with a car crash law firm to seek compensation for any damages, you should take photos of the scene if it is appropriate and if you have an opportunity to take them safely. This could provide evidence for any legal case that you may intend to build.

Take Further Lessons or Courses

If you feel that you were at fault in the accident, or if you have simply had your confidence knocked by the incident, you may want to take further driving lessons or further driving courses. These can help to build your confidence back up and improve your driving skills.

While any emergency situation on the roads is bound to be scary, it’s best to be prepared at all times. Hopefully, the above information will be able to set you at ease!

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4 Things You Need In Case Your Car Breaks Down

When your car breaks down, it can be one of the most stressful moments you’ll encounter. Not only do you rely upon your car for a lot of the things that you do in your day-to-day life, but you may also be in a really inconvenient place when the breakdown occurs, and there is little that you can do about it. Whilst it may be an irritating and perhaps upsetting experience, there are some things that you can do – and some things that you need – if your car breaks down, and we’ve listed them here.

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  1. A torch

Whilst it sounds like an unnecessary thing to carry in your car, you’ll be glad that you have a torch if you break down during the night, especially if you’re on a road that isn’t very well-lit. You may also have to walk somewhere to get some assistance, which can be daunting in the dark, so make sure that you always have a torch in the car just in case an emergency situation arises.

  1. Good contacts for repairs

When your car breaks down, you just want it to get fixed as soon as is humanly possible, as there is nothing worse than being without it when you have to commute to work, and to your other commitments and hobbies. All car owners need to have the right contacts, so that you can get your car fixed without spending ages looking around for the right people to do it. Be smart, and have some phone numbers at the ready.

  1. A way to get the car parts you need

If you need to get your car fixed, you can save yourself a bit of cash by being switched on when it comes to car parts. Whether you’ve experienced a breakdown or not, make sure you’re aware of a website like https://www.breakeryard.com/car-parts/bmw so that you can order in the parts as soon as you need them. This will save you the expense of buying them directly from the auto shop, and you’ll be able to ensure that the prices you’re being charged are reasonable compared to the average.

  1. Blankets

Another small thing that you should always carry in your car is blankets, as you never know when you’re going to need them, particularly in the winter months. If you have to stand outside of your car whilst somebody comes to tow you, you could live to regret not bringing any along, as the wait can be quite a long one sometimes. Be clever here, and think about how many you’d need if a breakdown occurred. Your family will thank you if anything happens!

So, if your car breaks down, you need to make sure that you have a multitude of things on hand, from torches and blankets, to good contacts for repairs and car parts, so that you can get back on the road in no time. If you have all of these things sorted, you’ll be glad that you did if anything happens to you, so stock up and be prepared!

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Explore The Costs Of Car Ownership

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Owning a car gives you a sense of freedom like few other things in your life. The ability to jump in your vehicle and hit the road is something that every driver should never take for granted. But, unfortunately there comes a price with having that freedom and these must be considered before taking the plunge into purchasing your car. So here are some of the other costs that come with owning a car.

Gas

There is one expenditure that stands out above all others and that is the price of gas. Your car needs it in order to operate, but whether you’re a petrol or diesel user the cost of fuel is never going to be too far from your mind. If you are concerned about the amount you are spending on your gas, then you might want to look at websites like Fuel Economy that will calculate how much you are spending on miles per gallon. The current national average for gas prices is $2.250 but can be almost a dollar more than that in different parts of the country.

Maintenance

Cars take a lot of work to maintain, it could be a breakdown while driving or just general day to day maintenance that you need to undertake. Unlike in other countries like the UK, there is not a yearly car inspection required for your car so long as it can drive above 55 mph and has working lights. However, depending on your state you might need to pass regular emission tests.

Keeping your car in full working order is important and you can do that by taking good care of it yourself in an attempt to avoid paying the average of over $500 on auto-repairs. Some things that you can do include keep your car clean to avoid damaging the body or allowing dirt to cause erosion, make sure you are replacing the car’s liquids regularly and inspect your tires before any significant journey.

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Car Fees

Just owning a car that sits on the driveway still costs you money. You should make sure you are aware of the costs involved in insuring your vehicle and registering it for road use. These costs are usually annual expenditures so can be worked into your household budget relatively easily. With the insurance aspect, make sure you are shopping around and using comparison websites to get the best deal available to you.

Other Costs

Finally, there are all sorts of other costs that can arise when you own a car. One example is a fine for speeding or other misdemeanors. However, don’t just accept these fines, especially if you are not convinced by the accusation. Websites like TicketBust can help you handle any claims against your driving with regards to a ticket you have received.

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Preparing For Road Issues Before They Even Begin

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While driving is a special experience for those who enjoy it, we all know that it’s not the most predictable of activities.  Things can happen on the road that you weren’t expecting, and so it’s best to always prepared for them in advance. Remaining a safe and competent driver takes effort and diligence, but is your duty on the road now and always.

Preparing for road issues before they even begin could be considered the height of road intelligence.  Odds are, if you are willing to invest in a high quality vehicle experience such as becoming an Audi owner, you have the foresight necessary to care for all manner of  road considerations.

Some road issues cannot be prevented, but can be prepared for.  With this in mind we would like to give you renewed winter driving advice, just in case you are coming to the roads anew, or simply need a safety refresher.  

With this in mind:

Remain Vigilant

Road safety is never something that is completed.  It will always be appropriate no matter if you give up driving tomorrow, or drive until you’re 90 years old.  The competent driver remains vigilant throughout all they years on the roads. This means ensuring they are alert, awake, and responsive.  

If you feel yourself driving sluggishly, are unaware of road signs in a new area, or feel like your driving has become lazy and sloppy as of late, try to connect to the source of this issue.  It might be you need to sleep more before journey’s, or even take a driving refresher course. While these might seem an inconvenience to your current schedule, it can be extremely worthwhile to prioritize your safety and the safety of others by taking measures like this.  Think that you would enjoy others to do the same and try to lead by example, even quietly.

Inspect Vehicle

No great driver can be great without a car that is functional.  Learn to inspect your car thoroughly.  From tire pressure, to computing issues, to driving pull, it can be essentially important to know exactly what issues are there.  Even if you’re not aware of how to replace or repair the problem, being able to report it accurately can be worthwhile in itself. Over time, this knowledge will give you the tools to predict when a problem will arise through feel and inspection power alone.  This can be essentially important when hoping to drive a functional complete vehicle.

Be A Great Passenger

Remaining a great passenger is your duty.  Learning to drive well means learning to respect those in control of the car.  Do not be the drunken fool in a vehicle during a night out. Do not allow them to drink drive, or help them with the application process in using a DWI accident lawyer to help when they have encountered one on the road. Help your newly qualified friend overcome driving issues or insecurities they might face, and remained supportive, quiet and patient.  This can help any driver stay focused and take control of the conversation as well as the road.

With these tips, you are sure to prepare for road issues before they even begin.

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What Makes A Drunk Driver Into A Bad Driver?

Most people have had the experience of drinking one too many before, and some enjoy this activity every few days. Of course, it’s normal to engage in this sort of activity, with social times made far easier when drinks are flowing, but this sort of fun doesn’t go very well with getting behind the wheel. What exactly is it about being drunk which makes driving so dangerous, though? Most drivers will say that confidence is the key to safety, and drinking will make you very confident, but this doesn’t mean that you will be a better driver.

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Slow Reactions

Your reaction time is something which you desperately need when you’re operating a vehicle like a car. These machines are heavy, hard to control, and take a lot to stop, making it very risky to drive when you aren’t able to rely on your instincts. Being drunk can make it very hard for people to perform emergency stops, putting other road users and pedestrians at risk when you decide to drive under the influence.

Overconfidence

While confidence is important to make sure that you are able to be safe on the road, you should always be aware of your abilities. When you’ve been drinking, it can be easy to assume that you’re far better at driving than you actually are, and this is something which gets a lot of people into trouble. DUI Lawyers routinely deal with cases of drivers being caught because they were speeding or driving dangerously. This is usually as the result of overconfidence.

Lack Of Control

After a handful of drinks, most people will find it hard to walk across a room without wobbling around a little bit. As you drink more, you will quickly find it harder and harder to keep yourself level. When you are finding it hard to walk or move your arms, you are in no state to drive, as you simply won’t be able to control a car in a safe way. Being unable to steer and maneuver properly is a leading cause of road-related deaths.

Wild Emotions

Finally, as the last area to consider, no one likes to deal with an angry driver, especially when they are simply trying to go about their business. When you’ve been drinking, it will be too easy to find yourself getting wrapped up in negative emotions to keep yourself safe in a car. A lot of accidents are caused by emotional driving, and this is something which you can easily avoid by simply getting a taxi when you’ve had one too many to drive.

Loads of people find themselves in trouble when they’ve been caught drunk behind the wheel. This is a very serious crime, even if it doesn’t feel that important when you’re sat at the bar, and is something which you should always be working to avoid. Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that driving when you’re drinking is dangerous. It’s worth exploring what makes something like this risky, though, as it helps you to look for the signs when you’ve had enough.

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Long Car Journeys Do Not Need To Be Tough: Here’s How To Get Through Them

Many people are using their weekends now to travel and see different places. It could be to see family that live in different parts of the country, it may be to take weekend breaks or to go on holiday. But spending more time on the roads, can mean that the journeys are becoming harder to handle. So if you have a long car journey ahead, then here are some of the tips to help you get through them.

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Check traffic updates regularly

No one wants to be stuck in a traffic jam of some sort, do they? The type where you don’t move for what feels like hours, adding to your car journey making it even longer than it already needs to be. It is frustrating to say the least, not just for the driver, but for anyone else sat in the car. Checking traffic cams and also looking at reports can help you identify fin there is an issue on your route, and even enable you to plan a new one to avoid it in the first place. Satellite navigation systems are also good at redirecting you away from potential hold ups.

Pack snacks for the journey

A long journey will mean that at some stage you are going to get hungry, so having a good supply of snacks is essential. This is also important if you are travelling with other people in the car, especially children. Getting hungry can make you angry and upset, so having food on hand can help you avoid these emotions.

Have a decent supply of water

It is also essential to have a decent supply of water. It can be tempting to avoid drinking so that you don’t need to stop off for bathroom breaks, but getting dehydrated can affect you in many ways, especially with your concentration. Which is essential when driving. Having water on hand will help you stay on track.

Plan plenty of rest spots

You need to make sure that during a long car journey you plan regular rest stops to ensure that you take a walk around and get some fresh air. Being sat, especially in a driver position for too long, isn’t any good for you at all. This can also help you avoid getting too tired on the road. A rest stop gives you chance to stretch your legs and also go the bathroom. Even getting some food and drink in a service station can break up the journey for all involved.

Don’t drive when tired

Finally, the best advice would be to never drive when you are tired. You need to have full concentration on the road, not just for your safety and the passenger sin your car, but also for the people involved on the road. It is extremely important that you take the rest stops and drive during the day for the best light and energy levels. It can make all of the difference.

Let’s hope these tips help you if you have any long car journeys planned for the future.

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