Delays and Hazards when Traveling Long Distance

2 min to read
Delays and Hazards when Traveling Long Distance

Construction can be a major frustration and as is usually the case, the more traveled roads are the subject of the most construction and the most delays. If it is feasible a jaunt off the highway can greatly decrease the monotony of a long drive. If time allows plan to leave the beaten path and take an alternate route, even if there are no big tourist draws on the route sometimes just a drive in the country can leave a traveller with a good story or two and at the very least a little local knowledge. Some of the best destinations are unadvertised and as idiosyncratic as the traveller who finds them.

Hours of driving can take its toll on the body, plan to take a break at least every couple of hours and give yourself at least fifteen minutes to regroup. If possible it is usually better to set off early in the morning to take advantage of the daylight as much as possible, night driving can be challenging enough given factors such as weather and unfamiliar roads, driver fatigue can cause a hazardous set of circumstances.

Ideally, if one wants to cover the most distance possible in a day then embark shortly after sunrise, in the summer in most of the densely populated parts of Canada this gives you a few hours before morning rush hour. From experience the first few hours can be the best possible driving conditions, very little traffic and a well-rested driver, although wildlife is most active around dawn and dusk. Under no circumstances would it be advisable to be on the road longer than 12 hours including stops to eat and rest. Recently snow-plow drivers were prohibited from working shifts longer than 12 consecutive hours due to concerns over safety and fatigue. It is always important to balance time and safety, and to err on the side of caution.

Unfamiliar areas have their own sets of hazards that may not be an issue back home. Mountain areas may have rock falls or unseasonable weather. Remote areas may have more issues with large animals such as moose and deer wandering into the roads. Agricultural areas often have large pieces of farm machinery travelling the roads at very slow speeds, even on the Trans-Canada Highway where a vehicle travelling 40 kilometers per hour can really catch drivers by surprise. It is important to be aware of the driving concerns that occur from one area to the next to be prepared for the unexpected.

If the vehicle is properly maintained and is stocking the essentials as far as emergency supplies and the driver is well armed with a route plan and knowledge of safe driving practices, even a drive from one coast to the other can be a pleasant and memorable trip without feeling like an endurance contest. Most of us will take a handful of such journeys in our lives and it is good advice to plan ahead to make it as enjoyable as possible. We live in a country that is second to none for its variety of geography, wildlife, culture and climate. It would be unfortunate to look at a trip through all that as a straight ahead race through the trees.