Road Trip Tips

This is a discussion on Road Trip Tips within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; You don't need snow tires to drive in the winter. It takes all the fun away. If you're really up ...

  1. #16
    C++ Developer XSquared's Avatar
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    You don't need snow tires to drive in the winter. It takes all the fun away. If you're really up for a challenge, swap in some racing slicks from December to March!
    Naturally I didn't feel inspired enough to read all the links for you, since I already slaved away for long hours under a blistering sun pressing the search button after typing four whole words! - Quzah

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  2. #17
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > If you have cruise control, turn it on as often as possible

    I'm gonna disagree with you here. If you're just turning it on to flex your legs, that's fine, but I've always thought people pay less attention to the road when they've got cruise on. It's just that much easier to zone out if you don't have to worry about how fast you're going.

    Also, I've been driving in Michigan for almost 10 years without snow tires. I've got no problems in the winter (I've gotten stuck once, but I've never had an accident). It's not that hard to drive well in the winter.

  3. #18
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've only had 1 minor accident (involving me, my car, and a curb), and snow tires wouldn't have helped a bit. The only thing that would have helped is if the .............. driving the tractor would have cleared off the ICE as well as the snow when he plowed the entrance to where I used to work.
    EntropySink. You know you have to click it.

  4. #19
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    I wouldn't drive anywhere without snow tyres if it wasn't absolutely necessary.
    It's not a question of whether or not I can do it or whether it is fun or not, I want to be confident that I can maintain control of my car even if there is very little grip.

    I don't know how the terrain looks like in Michigan, but the part of Sweden where I live is quite hilly with lots of twists and turns in the up-hill slopes. Having summer tyres here is not a good idea if you want to be able to make it all the way up the slope.

    Regarding cruise control, that depends on the driver I guess. I'm always scanning the road and the mirrors, regardless of if I have cruise control on or not, which means I don't drop in concentration.

    Personally, I find it more distracting if I start getting cramps in my "manual" cruise control (right leg) than if I get to have cruise control on and not worry.

    But, because I've driven so far in non-cruise control equipped cars I've gotten quite experienced in shifting my position so that I don't get cramps like that.

  5. #20
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > Regarding cruise control, that depends on the driver I guess.

    Yeah, I've found that that's one of my quirks. The car I'm driving right now is my first with a working cruise control, so I'm probably just biased because that's how I learned.

    Michigan is a fairly flat state, but we've got our share of hills and winding roads. I'm not saying they're useless or anything, but I don't think they're necessary for my conditions.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by B0bDole
    -Anything else that you think would be important...
    Take someone with you. My roommate and I went on several road trips during college. It was nice to get out at rest stops and throw the frisbee for a while. You can also take turns driving.
    If I did your homework for you, then you might pass your class without learning how to write a program like this. Then you might graduate and get your degree without learning how to write a program like this. You might become a professional programmer without knowing how to write a program like this. Someday you might work on a project with me without knowing how to write a program like this. Then I would have to do you serious bodily harm. - Jack Klein

  7. #22
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    It's also great to be able to talk to someone, for boredom and your concentration.

  8. #23
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    You could also bring a girl friend... she'll chat you to death all day, but the nights are sweeter

    Well... if showers are a rare resource, maybe it's not that much fun...
    hth
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  9. #24
    Bob Dole for '08 B0bDole's Avatar
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    >Well... if showers are a rare resource, maybe it's not that much fun...

    That's one thing... I like to take a shower at least once a day. I've seen a shower in a gas station/mcdonalds down in FtPeirce Florida, and I've seen them other places too. But how rare are these public showers?
    Hmm

  10. #25
    Registered User Jaqui's Avatar
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    a good set of all-season tires will serve just as well as snow tires.
    then you can use them even after the trip is over.

    being able to stop, get out of the vehicle and move around at most after 4 hours is important.
    ( I drove from Vancouver to Edmonton through a blizzard on july first.. stopping every 4 hours to wander for a bit kept me from becoming to tense. it also helped to keep awake, I had worked 8 hours right before leaving )

    drinks, for both combatting dehydration and for energy / keeping awake are good.
    snacks / sandwiches important if there are long stretches of road with nothing and no-one around.

    use cruise control as little as possible, it really does reduce the attention to what you are doing.

    K.O.A. ( Campgrounds Of America ) all over the place, a night there for about 10 bucks, with shower is worth it. power for lights, time to actually eat real food, releax as the driving does increase tension.

    Truckers are limited by law to 12 hours behind the wheel, unless they have 2 people in the rig.

    obey the speed limit, not only will you get there as fast, you won't get expensive tickets.

    note:
    when I was in the middle of that blizzard, I was doing only 10 mph in a 100 mph zone.
    don't be afraid to crawl along the curb if you are in conditions you are not used to. it is far safer for all if you do.

    don't forget your cd collection. music to help keep you awake is a good thing.
    pay attention to the local radio station frquencies, for traffic / weather bullitens. you can save yourself stress and even your life by knowing that pulling in for the day far easrlier than planned will keep you off the road rather than drive through a blizzard. ( specially as you haven't driven in snow )
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Henager
    If the average user can put a CD in and boot the system and follow the prompts, he can install and use Linux. If he can't do that simple task, he doesn't need to be around technology.

  11. #26
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    Oh yeah, if you've never driven in snow, follow these simple tips to decrease the risk of getting into an accident:

    • Keep at least twice the distance to the car infront of you as you normally would. Even if you don't need that much distance to avoid any accidents, margins are always nice.
    • If you loose grip on the wheels going up-hill and the wheels start spinning, don't push harder on the throttle. If you do, the wheels will spin more.
    • Before going up a hill, try gaining more speed before the road actually rises (feel free to break the speed limit). Low grip won't cause your car to loose velocity, but with low grip you will be unable to add any more velocity by using the throttle (see previous point). By speeding up below a hill you increase the amount of velocity you will have going up the hill, allowing you to be gentler on the throttle.
    • It's ALWAYS slicker than you think it is.
    • Be gentle. Brake softer, accelerate softer, steer softer.


    And like Jaqui says, don't be afraid to drive slower than the speed limit if the conditions are bad. But, if you do that, respect the drivers behind you that may want to drive faster.

    If you see someone approaching you going faster than you are, do what you can to move out of the way to let them pass. If they want to go fast even though they shouldn't, it's their problem. By allowing them to pass you easily you will avoid a potentially dangerous situation (you have no idea how easy it is for a car to get into a spin if the driver tries to overtake on a slippery surface) and it's not like you will lose any time.

  12. #27
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > Low grip won't cause your car to loose velocity

    It does sometimes. I had a nice lol at a guy I saw last winter who, while trying to ascend a hill in bad weather and a Chevy Blazer, made it about halfway up before sliding down. My little Saturn handled it just fine.

    > It's ALWAYS slicker than you think it is.

    That's an excellent piece of advice.

  13. #28
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    make sure to watch National Lampoon's "Vacation" before going.

  14. #29
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    well i'm an aussie road master

    i know all about road trips, take a stick for the grubs, pack leaves for shelter and a billi for hot water and take a stick shaped like the letter (y) so you can find water. last but by no means least,ten thousand cans of baked beans because you know what they say, beans means hines
    WhAtHA hell Is GoInG ON

  15. #30
    Moderately Rabid Decrypt's Avatar
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    > It's ALWAYS slicker than you think it is.

    Amen.

    Driving in "winter conditions" is just something you have to get used to. As was said before, keep much more distance between you and the car ahead of you than you normally would. If the car starts to fishtail, the best thing to do (and it takes time, usually) is not to freak out. Little corrections will get the car straight again, slamming on the brakes and wildly moving the steering wheel will get you firmly in the ditch. That being said, it's not as hard as we're all making it sound. Maybe that's just me, since I've been doing it since I started driving...

    Besides the fantastic quote above, the biggest thing about driving on ice/snow to remember is this: It's not the going that'll get you; it's the stopping. Your car will be able to get going on the ice (it'll just require higher wheel speed that usual), but stopping is an entirely different story. The wheels may have stopped turning, but there can be a SERIOUS lack of friction between you and the road sometimes - and that means you slide. The harder you brake, the more likely you are to slide.

    I think that's about it for winter driving.

    Decrypt

    p.s. I don't like cruise control for two reasons:
    1) It makes it easier for you to space out
    2) You can't let off of the gas. If you're driving w/o it, and, say, a deer is walking by the edge of the road, you let off the gas for a second or two, which gives you more time to decide; to watch the situation and see if you need to brake or not. With cruise control you can lose those few seconds.
    There is a difference between tedious and difficult.

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