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  1. Default Driving Atlanta to San Francisco


    I am a single female that will be driving across the US alone from Atlanta to San Francisco in 2 weeks.

    I'm hoping to be able to make the drive in 4 days - weather permitting. I'm not afraid of long driving days as I have experience making 9-10 hour drives across Europe. I had a trade show job that required long drives between various cities.

    My concern is route considering the time of year. I am debating whether to take Interstate 10 from Mobile, AL to Southern California or take Interstate 40. Does anyone on this forum have experience driving across the country on either? I am leaning towards Interstate 10 as, even though it is a longer route, it is further south.

    I have heard that Interstate 10 takes you out into the middle of nowhere for long stretches where there is no cell reception, gas stations are few and far between, and I could be very well driving alone on the road especially through much of Texas and the desert. On the other hand, I have read that Interstate 40, while faster, can be a nightmare driving across during winter.

    Anything I should be prepared for? I have already purchased supplies (case water, food, jumper cables, flares, flat tire equipment, maps, etc.) in anticipation for unexpected issues that may arise. I have a newer car that has been recently checked out, oil changed, transmission fluid flushed....everything I can think of in preparation.

    Thanks so much for your advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Atlanta to SF is really at the very maximum of how far you can safely drive in 4 days, If you stick to I-40. As it is, that would be 4 consecutive days of 10-12 hours on the road. That's the very limit of what professional drivers can do legally, because of safety laws. If you add extra miles to go down to I-10, you will have to add a 5th day - and that's assuming you see good weather.

    I can tell you what you've heard both drives is largely based on myth.

    I-10 across West Texas does go through some remote area. You'll still have gas stations and other services about every 50 miles or so, and as with most interstates, you'll have cell phone coverage the vast majority of the time. I can tell you at no point would you be all alone - as there is still plenty of traffic.

    I-40 can see bad weather, if there is a storm. Then again, so can every cross country interstate - including I-10. Going south really does nothing to improve your odds of seeing good weather, in fact it can make it worse - because if you add miles, you have less time available to wait out a storm. The only way you'll know what kind of weather you might see when you travel is to look at the weather forecasts just before you leave.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Shorter is Better

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The fact is that your trip is pushing the upper limit of what can be safely driven in just four days as it is. Remember, that doing 600 miles a day, day after day, is much more exhausting than one or even two longer days. So your primary concern at this point would be with not making your drive any longer than it has to be. The I-40 route (I-20/US-78/I-40/CA-58/I-5) is already near 2450 miles and farther than you really should be thinking about covering in only four days. Dropping down to I-10 (I-20/I-10/I-210) would make your drive 2600 miles. That's an extra 150 miles, three hours, of driving you simply don't need.


  4. Default

    Thank you!

  5. Default

    Thanks. I'm glad I posted on here. It's been VERY hard to find decent info on the internet.

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