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  1. #1
    Nocturnal Guest

    Default Washington DC to San Francisco!

    Hello everyone!

    I am considering a road-trip from DC to San Fran, as I will be moving from east-cost. However, I am not sure if I should take it. I will be alone, so I am a bit concerned about getting bored on the way. Also, I am not too sure if continuous driving will make any adverse affect on my car's engine or turbos... as I am thinking to drive for at least 900 miles before I will take a break. It is 2860 miles in total.

    Any suggestions/advice will be great!

    This thread was made by a former member ("Nocturnal") and the thread is visible here as a cautionary tale for a too-rapid speed run planning thread. --- Editor
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-06-2008 at 01:49 PM. Reason: navigation

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Brain Cells are more important than turbos

    Quote Originally Posted by Nocturnal View Post
    I am considering a road-trip from DC to San Fran, as I will be moving .
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Most of us here would jump at the chance to drive coast to coast -- hard to imagine anyone getting bored on such a trip.
    Also, I am not too sure if continuous driving will make any adverse affect on my car's engine or turbos...
    The car can take it, but a human driver can sustain no more than one such day in a row without serious degradation of their driving skills. If you don't have a minimum of five days to allocate to this adventure -- YOU SHOULD NOT DO IT.

    Here are some speed run ideas and tips and some solo road trip considerations.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-21-2008 at 07:59 PM. Reason: typo in the title

  3. #3
    Nocturnal Guest

    Default re:

    Mark, thanks for the reply. I am also considering to drive at nights, so that I can save time and avoid traffic jams. Due to my shift timing, I already drive 50 miles everyday, after midnight...and I quite like it. However, what you guys suggest for the cross country speed-run. I have to be there in max three days, as I have to join my new office.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default I Really Don't Think So

    As a former night shift worker myself (9PM - 7AM Mon-Fri; 5PM - 7AM Sat &Sun) and someone who has driven a thousand miles at a shot, I understand your thoughts on this. BUT, this is not going to happen. You simply cannot perform this trick. Three 900+ mile days in a row are physically impossible. How many other ways are there to say this? If your new job depends on being there in three days then you have to fly. You cannot do it driving. Driving at night cuts down on the traffic, yes, but it also drains all the visual cues and pleasures from the trip and will lead to mental exhaustion on top of the physical draining. It's not the cure. Please, do not attempt this.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Nocturnal Guest

    Default hmm...think so..

    Azbuck, thanks for the reply. In fact, I had a talk with my colleague, and he suggested not to take the interstate highways at night, as they are not safe. I guess, most of my highway driving was in in A5 and A9 in Germany, so I thought it should be safe. However, I do agree with you on one point that I will miss the scenery at night. I guess, now I will be driving during the day!

    Since, I will be mostly on I-80...does anyone have any particular advice/suggestion for any strech on this motorway?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default forest for the trees

    Its already been said twice, but I suppose repeating it one last time wouldn't hurt.

    Worrying about driving at night because of safety when you are considering driving 3 consecutive 900 mile trips, is a little like worrying about the affects of radiation if a nuclear bomb goes off down the street. In either case, you'd have to survive a much bigger and more dangerous issue before the secondary issue would even come up.

    There is nothing that is by itself dangerous about driving on the interstate at night. Millions of miles are driven every night in the US on the interstate system, and while you have to be more alert because of reduced visability of headlights compared to the sun, that's simple physics that apply to every road in the world.

    What is truly dangerous is driving while tired, both mentally and physically. It is simply not possible to drive 900 miles a day for 3 days in a row without becoming tired, regardless of what time of day you are driving. Professional drivers who travel across country every day and know their personal limits are forbidden by law from covering the kind of distances you are talking about because it is simply not safe, for the driver or anyone else who has to share the road with a fatigued person behind the wheel.

    If you have to make this trip in 3 days, you can not safely do it. Buy a plane ticket.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Only for a professional team!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nocturnal View Post
    he suggested not to take the interstate highways at night,
    I believe your colleague is misinformed -- Interstate highways are safe anytime during a 24-hour day. However, as Michael points out, unless you are a professional driver and have at least one more co-driver you should not attempt this drive in three days. I, personally, have completed such a drive twice. I had co-driver each time (the ideal is three drivers, if you read that article about speed runs above) and we drove 23 of 24 hours for each of the three days. It is a suicide mission for a solo driver to do it....

    Also, read these tips about soloing here.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-22-2008 at 12:12 PM.

  8. #8
    Nocturnal Guest

    Default re..

    Brian/Mark thanks for the reply. My colleague, recently drove to DC from Kansas, and he said that some parts of the highway are deserted and your mobile phone doesn't get the signal for about 80 miles. He had Sprint, while his other friend had Verizon...and both of them were out. So, if something wrong happens during that strech of the highway, you are pretty much done.

    The last time I was on a motorway, was in Germany, and I did like 1370 Kms, which is about 850 miles and I had no problem. I will have to see, when I will hit the road. If it takes four days, then four days it is.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,059

    Default Pretty much done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nocturnal View Post
    So, if something wrong happens during that strech of the highway, you are pretty much done.
    If lack of cell coverage is the criteria -- you need to add about 80% of the land mass of the United States. Despite those pretty color maps provided by cellular companies, that purport to show coast-to-coast coverage for their networks, the truth is that less than 21% of the country has ANY kind of cellular coverage (it used to be ~ 35% when AMPS -- analog services were still provided). But even with only 21% coverage, 80% of the USA population can find cellular coverage where they work and live....

    But, even if you don't have cellular coverage -- there is no stretch of Interstate highway in America where you can sit on the side of the road for more than 15 minutes and not see 100+ vehicles going by. It is pretty hard to find oneself "done" on the highways....

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default No phone means you're not safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nocturnal View Post
    Brian/Mark thanks for the reply. My colleague, recently drove to DC from Kansas, and he said that some parts of the highway are deserted and your mobile phone doesn't get the signal for about 80 miles. He had Sprint, while his other friend had Verizon...and both of them were out. So, if something wrong happens during that strech of the highway, you are pretty much done.
    I think I can safely speak for me and my fellow roadtrippers here, your friend is over-dramatizing things a bit. Yes, some stretches of highway have less traffic than others, but even the "loneliest road in America" (US-50 through Nevada) isn't deserted. Re cellphones....yeah, they're handy. But how in the heck did people survive traveling prior to cellphones? Geesh....I'm sorry but this cracks me up.

    The last time I was on a motorway, was in Germany, and I did like 1370 Kms, which is about 850 miles and I had no problem. I will have to see, when I will hit the road. If it takes four days, then four days it is.
    And I once drove over 1000 miles in one, long day. I enjoyed every second and never felt fatigued until about the last hour or so. However, I'm very glad that I was staying put for the next two days because I was zonked. Most of the next day was spent laying by the pool and napping. Not a bad way to spend the day but I would NEVER have been able to crawl back in the car and repeat a long day's driving safely. Never.

    Professional drivers are not legally allowed to drive the kind of miles you're talking about. You really think you can do this and then show up for your first day of work in any condition to impress your new employer?

    And you are allowed to drive a lot faster on the Autobahn so you can travel those miles in less hours. I hardly find this a valid comparison.

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