When told how few hours many people spend driving to their destinations, it took me by surprise. For some, 6 hours was the average before having to stop for the night. My sister and I had done in 23 1/2 hours what took a friend 4 days! Some reasoned it was because they tire from the stress of driving. Others said it was because they were are uncomfortable driving after dark especially when the area is unfamiliar.
What’s the rush?
I try to arrive at my destination as quickly as I can. I hate spending most of my time off from work on the road. I’d much prefer relaxing at the campsite or touring an attraction. Unable to retire, I am limited on the time I can be away. I enjoy driving and find it relaxing to turn on an audio book and hit the road.
I have driven straight through to the Florida Keys, resting an hour or two at a rest stop near Atlanta. But there have been times that I admit I have become weary. Especially when there are delays due to weather or poor visibility. I once pulled over to sleep in my car even though I was only an hour away from home. The most important thing is knowing your limitations. I can recognize when I’m starting to get tired. Traveling with someone gives the advantage of switching places and allowing the passenger to take over. Unfortunately, that isn’t always an option. There have been times when driving alone, I have pulled into a parking lot for 20 minutes to “rest” before continuing. The stress or danger of driving when tired isn’t worth the extra few hours of time.
Do you plan ahead?
Unless I am attending a specific event, I rarely book a site in advance. Not being required to arrive at at a designated time or place can have its advantages. It gives me the option of stopping when I’m tired, or continuing toward my destination if I’m feeling energetic. I can also make a quick stop at a local attraction that interests me.
I prefer spontaneity and I don’t do well with schedules. Traffic, road construction or “tourist traps” could delay my arrival. Therefore, when I get tired, I usually stop at a rest area and spend some time recharging, then move on. I enjoy driving and find there is less traffic at night. Therefore, I can take my time and not be pushed by rushing commuters. Driving distances will vary with all of us. But safety is what needs to be uppermost in our decision making for when to pull over. It only takes a split second for something to happen. If you don’t feel comfortable driving at night, work in a few extra days in order to reach your destination.
The following article has great tips for the journey after dark.