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Friday Five – Long-Distance Driving Tips for Solo Drivers

Practical Motoring logo Practical Motoring 13-10-2017 Robert Pepper

Australia is a big country and there can often be incredibly long distances between towns, here’s how to stave off boredom if you’re driving alone.

HERE'S FIVE IDEAS to help while away the time on your next long-distance, solo driving mission:

  1. Phone a friend - remember phone calls? They're what we used to do before instant messaging. A good chat can make hours seem like minutes, and if it's not working out you can always make out that you're driving into a mobile phone blackspot;
  2. Listen to an audiobook - a good story is a good story, regardless of whether it's on the printed page, made into a movie or something you listen to. Give them a try. There's many specialist audiobook apps too.  You can also listen to a podcast - so many to choose from! Your favourite news site probably has a few, and there's always the ABC;
  3. Use a UHF radio to talk to other road users - truckies, caravaners, 4WDers... even if you don't say anything you can learn a lot (and be amused) by listening in on the free-for-all CB channels;
  4. Take the back-roads route - if you're not pressed for time cut across country through small towns, dirt roads and the like. Far more interesting than the monotony of the freeway;
  5. Explore your car - measure the fuel consumption at slightly different speeds. You'll find it quite different at 100 vs 110km/h for example. Or try using that adaptive cruise control for the first time. Don't ever put safety at risk, but there may be time to check out features you’ve never tried before.
Upcoming SUVs in 2017

The golden rule when driving long distances, is to make sure you take regular breaks, and it’s doubly important to do so when travelling solo. Don’t do what one person we know did, and simply load up on cans of energy drink and keep on driving… he ended up falling asleep at the wheel. True story.

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