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  1. Default

    That all makes sense. I have a question though: at what point does accumulative driving make a difference? After 3 days? 4 days? Even 2 days? I'm asking because I recall somebody saying that if this was a one-way, one-day trip it would be better than adding on 4 more days. For example, driving from New York to Miami in 2 days, stopping in Florence, SC (650 each way). Would something like this (driving 650 miles in 2 days) be, I guess, "better" than driving 650 miles for 4 days?

    And yeah, glc those are long days. Not quite sure why she went 90 back to 80 instead of going 90 all the way.

  2. Default

    The more long tiring days you drive, without a proper nights rest, the more the fatigue adds up. Any deficiencies from day one just add up day after day until you reach your destination.

    Even if you limit your time behind the wheel to 10 hours each day, you'll likely find each days drive to be more difficult.

    One warning. You'll likely run into city traffic, construction, accidents, detours, and inclement weather. These will all prevent you from making your daily miles quota. The temptation will be to drive a couple hours more to make up for lost time. And the next day it continues.

    This is why I always plan an extra contingency day in my trip, even a two day trip.

    This is also why I plan on averaging 50 mph overall, even though I will drive 70 or more. It allows for getting gas, stopping at rest areas, grabbing a burger, and some of those inevitable delays. At the end of ten hours I hope to have driven 500 miles; and maybe more if it has been a good drive.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,253

    Default

    Not quite sure why she went 90 back to 80 instead of going 90 all the way.
    1. She wanted to see her friend in Omaha, she's there at her house right now.
    2. Avoid a lot of tolls and Chicago traffic. The IL Tollway soaks you pretty hard if you are towing a trailer and paying cash. She would be nailed for 4 axles. She's towing a U-Haul car carrier with a Subaru Forester on it with a V-6 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk.

    She took 90 to avoid 80 through WY, 90 through ID and MT is a lot easier when towing. Lower elevation and less crosswinds. She took 84 to 82 to 395 to get to 90.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,043

    Default

    Accumulative fatigue is always an issue, and it becomes a bigger and bigger factor the longer you are on the road - pretty much the definition of accumulative. It's not much different than running - you pace yourself differently if you are running a 100 meter dash vs a mile vs a marathon.

    I will also mention one of the huge dangers of fatigue and taking the approach that "I'll stop when I'm tired" is that by the time you "feel" tired, fatigue has been affecting your driving for a long time. Ultimately, it means your are counting on your brain to know when it's time to quit - when fatigue itself will keep your brain from making ideal decisions. That's why it's better to plan a maximum distance, but have the flexibility to stop sooner if conditions require.

  5. Default

    In terms of timing, I know that Google Maps times are wrong. But how can I even get a rough sense of what 10 hours would be if I can't trust Google Maps time? Like should I be looking for 8 hours pure time on Google Maps if I want to make it in 10? How can I figure out the maximum if some roads are slower than others?

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,531

    Default

    You're right; never trust Google Maps' (or any other electronic mapping program's) driving times. They are totally unrealistic.

    There are two ways to go about getting a more realistic estimate. First is the one I've been using since before there were GPS units in cars, on phones, etc: take your mileage, divide by 50, and you get the number of hours. So let's say you want to drive 550 miles. Divided by 50, you get 11 hours. This is for interstate travel, and divided 4-lane highways. For the 2-lanes, take your mileage and divide by 45. The more little towns you have along those 2-lanes, the slower you'll go -- divide by 40.

    The second way is to add 20-25% to the time estimated by the electronic mapping programs. If it says 7.5 hours, expect it to take 9.5 - 10.0 hours. Or just take their mileage and divide by one of the above, which is what I do.


    Donna

  7. Default

    Again, figure averaging 50 in 70 mph zones. Another way of looking at it is that you'll average 70% whatever speed Google is using.

    70 mph x 0.7 = 49 mph.

    Likewise, the miles driven for those hours will be reduced.

    If Google says you'll get 700 miles in 10 hours, multiply it by 0.7 = 490 miles.

    If the speed limit is less and Google says you'll get 450 miles in a certain time, multiply that by 0.7 = 315 miles.

    Just another way of looking at this for those mathematically inclined.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,043

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by magicwand View Post
    How can I figure out the maximum if some roads are slower than others?
    When you keep looking for the ways you can push your luck to the max, eventually your luck is going to run out.

    At the heart of every question you're asking, you're looking for a exact formula to tell you exactly how far you can go, exactly how long it will take, etc so you can plan things out to the exact maximum. In that sense, you keep missing the point. Roadtrips aren't exact - every trip is different because every roadtrip has variables you simply can't predict in advance. That is the very reason why roadtrips can be such an enjoyable way to travel. You can make estimates, you can make a plan based on those estimates, but things are going to happen that you can't predict, and if you assume a best case scenario for every one of your estimates, you're going to set yourself up for problems.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    Default

    Let's make this easy. Use software to calculate mileage and times. Add 20% to the times if all you want to do is get from point A to point B. This will account for normal rest stops over a full day's drive, including a quick fast food lunch. If you want to get off the road and sightsee, add time as appropriate. If you are hitting a city around rush hour, better fudge more time in.

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