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  1. #1

    Default New England to Northern Arizona

    Hi All,
    Very grateful to be part of this forum. And I really appreciate the responses veterans give us noobs. I have never driven across country before. I've driven from Burlington, VT to Grand Rapids , MI and back in two days (14 hours each day) and I was the only driver. But this upcoming cross country trip is a big deal for me. I have limited time to spend in and around Sedona, AZ so I plan on taking two weeks off from work and would like to get from Vermont to AZ in three days. I'll have a second driver with me.

    So here's my plan...

    Day One: Burlington, VT to just past Columbus, OH (700 miles) I-90 to I-71
    Day Two: Columbus, OH to Oklahoma City, OK (900 miles) I-70 to I-44
    Day Three: Oklahoma City, OK to Sedona, AZ (900 miles) all on I-40

    I understand its a lot of driving pulling maybe 13 hour days but with two drivers I feel it can be done safely. I'll be renting a car as my older CR-V might not be as reliable. I'm planning on leaving on a Saturday AM and would drive through evening of Monday on way there. I've just never made a trip like this before. I ask, what should I be aware of? Does my itinerary sound ok?

    Anything the veterans here could offer would be most appreciated!
    Last edited by BoldRuler; 06-08-2017 at 10:31 AM. Reason: mis-spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,990

    Default your feelings are wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by BoldRuler View Post
    I understand its a lot of driving pulling maybe 13 hour days but with two drivers I feel it can be done safely.
    I'm sorry, but no, what you have proposed can not be done safely - not even close.

    700 miles is pushing really too hard even on a one day trip, and certainly too much for a multi-day trip. 900 miles a day is extremely dangerous even for one day, and doing it on back to back days is in a word: Homicidal. Having 2 drivers does not solve the problem.

    Professional drivers are limited by law from driving more than about 600 miles in a day. Any time sitting in a passenger seat is counted exactly the same as time behind the wheel. Fatigue is a killer - every bit as big of a killer as drunk driving - and there is no way to do what you have proposed without being seriously impacted by fatigue. One of the biggest issues with fatigue is that by the time you are so exhausted that you "feel" tired, you have already gone way past the point of being a safe driver. Statistically speaking, you will be about 12 times more likely to be involved in a crash by attempting something like this.

    It should also be noted that the travel times provided by online mapping programs are pure fantasy, and don't account for any stops or slowdowns - so you would actually be looking at about 16 hour days on the road, not 13 hour days (and even 13 is too much). You should also not assume that because you survived back to back 800 mile days (which was very foolish and dangerous) in the past that you would be so lucky again in the future.

    On top of it all, if you did attempt this plan and managed to not kill yourselves or someone else, you would both be so exhausted when you arrived in AZ that there is no chance that you'd be able to enjoy anything for at least a couple days anyway!

    Now having said all of that, here's the good news: You've got 2 weeks for this trip total, so you absolutely can drive to Sedona and back in that time. You just need to completely rework your plan, where you are limiting yourself to 550-600 miles a day at the maximum - even fewer miles if you actually want to stop and see some things along the way. That means you need to plan for a minimum of 4 overnight stops each way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,922

    Default The unseen enemy.

    I've just never made a trip like this before.
    And we hope you never do, lest it be your last trip.

    Michael has stated clearly why you should not. Fatigue is the unseen enemy of the long distance driver. It creeps up on him without warning. By the time a driver (person) is aware of it, it has been affecting the driving for a long time. But to add to that is that fatigue is cumulative. Once it affects you it continues to add to it the following day. A normal night's sleep does not give sufficient rest to recover. And let's face it, in a strange bed in a strange room far away from home, it is harder to get a good night's sleep.

    Best not let it start at all. This research may give you a clearer picture of the affects of fatigue.

    When calculating your time required on the road for any given trip divide the distance by 55 - i.e. 550 miles will on average take you 10 hours to drive safely. When driving on roads other than interstates, divide by 50. I have often driven non stop for some hours and then checked the distance coivered. Never was it even 60 miles for each hour. Such are the normal slow downs for road and traffic conditions.

    Four overnight stops will make this a trip to remember for all the right reasons.

    Lifey

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    And we hope you never do, lest it be your last trip.

    Four overnight stops will make this a trip to remember for all the right reasons.

    Lifey
    Thanks guys.

  5. #5

    Default

    Fly! Fly! Fly! Four overnights is essentially 5 days of travel, each way. Fly into Phoenix, rent a car, and enjoy Sedona and some of the surrounding sights. The Grand Canyon isn't too far away. Plus many other Arizona and Utah vistas.

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