Driving in the city isn’t quite the perfect way to have a good time. Bumper-to-bumper traffic, gridlock, and unruly and ill-disciplined motorists make life a nightmare when it comes to navigating your way around any major urban centre. But there’s not too much that beats the open road.
Wide open skies, panoramic views, travelling at a constant speed, improved mileage, and the peace of it all – driving outside the city is a fantastic way to rejuvenate both mind and body. As long as you keep yourself fresh and energised (a vital part of highway safety), there’s quite nothing that offers the same tranquillity and freedom as chewing up tarmac on the highway.
Many carmakers offer a number of amenities and options that can make driving a far more enjoyable experience. These can often be found in luxury cars, or in the case of less prestigious manufacturers, upper-end models. Ranging from enhancements for your seat to increased comfort in the cabin, they add to the driving experience in terms of comfort, enjoyment and safety.
Heated seats can make or break the driving experience. As well as keeping your backside warm and toasty on long trips, heated seats promote blood circulation. The sensation of having your butt ‘fall asleep’ from numbness is not likely to pose a threat, allowing you to maintain ideal posture instead of fidgeting around in search of a more comfortable position.
Have you ever found yourself pulling over during a drive, eager to catch a bit of rest so that you can complete your journey refreshed and alert? With a massage chair, you can enjoy your 40 winks in comfort. While improving your body’s blood circulation and preventing problems such as stiff joints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and deep vein thrombosis, massage chairs make life on the open road a bit easier, though this is one feature that tends to be limited to the Jaguars and BMWs of the world.
Antilock braking systems (ABS) are a lifesaver – quite literally. This technological advancement is available on almost all cars, and is highly recommended by drivers and manufacturers alike, especially if you plan on travelling long distances. ABS essentially prevents your wheels from locking during hard braking, which prevents the chances of your vehicle skidding or losing traction. It’s a boon for when you need to slow down or stop at short notice, even in wet weather or on unpaved surfaces.
Most importantly, remember to keep yourself awake, refreshed and alert. Driving on the highway might be a ridiculous amount of fun, but it’s also serious business. Don’t mistake this for a complete leisure activity; you’re still responsible for the lives of your passengers and fellow road-goers.
The discipline required to focus attention on one action for extended periods of time is down to both science and art. Driving requires you to focus on one thing: keeping your eyes on the road and its environment. It’s this level of control that builds strength and discipline, as opposed to diverting your attention to a number of different activities and issues. Make no mistake; the ability to drive at the top of your abilities for long hours at one stretch is not something to be taken lightly.
A few tips to keep you focused on the road at all times include:
• Sleep well the night before a trip. Get a massage if you can, and avoid any alcohol or tobacco.
• Avoid talking to your passengers, and ask them to keep their own conversations to a moderate volume. Don’t play music if you can help it.
• Take breaks every 90 minutes or so. Driving in India requires far more concentration than it does in the West.
• Keep the windows up. Prolonged exposure to noise, danger from flying pebbles and the car’s aerodynamic performance are all compromised.
• If you feel tire, pull over. Getting to your destination on time is not nearly as important as getting there alive and in one piece.