Driving has become such a regular part of our lives that we often forget how convenient it is to have a car. In fact, your next road trip or long car journey would not even be possible otherwise. However, all that convenience does not come without its own set of probable issues either, especially if you have a long trip in mind. Fortunately, most issues can be avoided with a bit of planning and preparation. To help yourself prepare better and simplify your next long road trip, take a quick look through the following.
Satellite Navigation: Watch Out for Wrong Turns
Even if you are an excellent navigator, you can get lost on roads that you have not been through before. Take a few promising, but deceptive backroads and you may soon end up in a town or village that’s nowhere near your destination. Now, that’s the good outcome, because you can still find your way back on the right track with a bit of help from the locals. It will still waste time, but that’s nowhere near as bad as getting stuck in the middle of nowhere in an unpopulated location. Add the surprisingly common horror movie cliché of car troubles to the mix and you have a full-blown problem on your hands! Avoid all such probabilities, inconveniences, and guesswork altogether by investing in a satellite navigation system, aka car GPS system.
You will see an up-to-date map of your route on the screen, with all the necessary markers (traffic, weather, road, etc.) updating in real time. Sat navs will help you look out for blocked roads, bad road conditions, traffic jams, wrong turns, and bad routes. Chances are that if the voice assistant on your sat nav system tells you to take a backroad, you will most likely end up in the right place faster by following its instructions.
Car HUD: Watch Out for Everything
Wouldn’t it be rather convenient and safe if we never had to take our eyes off the road to look at the dashboard lights, speedometer, or the GPS system? Previously, such a convenience was only restricted to video games, but not anymore. The modern Heads-Up Display (HUD) is a brilliant example of augmented reality finally coming into fruition for practical usage.
Car HUDs are highly specialized projectors which project the car’s speed, gear count, fuel meter, GPS directions, and other dashboard info on the driver’s windshield in real time. The projections are always translucent, and they are positioned to never obstruct the driver’s view in any way. Depending on the make and model, they might also be able to show you live footage from your parking cams for easier parking.
Car Wi-Fi: Watch Out for Your Favourite Shows
Just in case there is a game or event that you don’t want to miss watching live, Wi-fi in the car is just about the best way to ensure that. Admittedly, this one is not a gadget that the designated driver will be able to make use of, but it will come in quite handy for everyone else. If you have young children with you, the car Wi-Fi plus a smartphone/tablet will keep them engaged.
A bit of distraction is quite necessary for everyone from time to time, especially when you are on a particularly long road trip. Since cell phone towers are often spotty and unreliable, either get a wireless modem + router, or an OBD-II device installed before starting out.
As a final tip, it would be advisable for every car owner to have a portable car battery charger, or at least a jump starter onboard. We are all prone to making mistakes and a dead battery on a road trip could be a costly mistake without one of the two.