Special care for long trips
Monday, 6 de February de 2017
Caring for your vehicle, its equipment, your body and even the food you eat will prevent the journey of your dreams from becoming a frustrated vacation
Attorney Herberson Girao usually travels with his wife and two children in his Jeep Wrangler JKU. Five years ago, during a vacation, the family lived the longest journey of their lives: 33 days in a car from Recife, in Pernambuco, to Ushuaia, in Patagonia Argentina. With two 12 year old kids on board, it took a lot of planning to have an unforgettable trip – in the good sense of the word.
On long-distance trips, drivers like Girao must be prepared to face the discomfort and fatigue of long hours at the wheel, as well as the mechanical problems that might come up on the road or any other mishaps. The list of inconveniences is extensive and we not only have to be careful with the vehicle, but with the driver´s health and that of the passengers’ too.
Do a complete checkup of the vehicle and calibrate the tires. It may seem redundant, but it’s essential. “We did a thorough checkup before getting on the road,” says the lawyer. The tires must be filled according to the pressure level indicated on the driver’s door – not on the tire itself, where the maximum pressure is indicated. Be sure to also check the fire extinguishers and calculate the amount of fuel that will be needed to reach your destination. Also remember to include the car jack.
“You should check both the mechanical and electrical parts,” recommends José Laurencio, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE). “Wiper sprinklers are also important, as are other components, such as headlamps,” he says. Laurencio recommends that the driver make a daily schedule of the route, establishing schedules for each stage and include the stops, which can be done every three hours or a little more, to avoid overheating and give the driver a rest.
“It is also highly recommended that you know where the fuel stations are located, where the nearest towns are, and where spare parts are sold in case of any mishaps,” recommends Laurencio. “Be especially careful with the pit-filled roads, the slopes, and in such cases, don´t overtake other cars.” Another tip is to avoid driving at night or in the rain: “Safety is also related to your attitude behind the wheel,” he says.
During his family expedition to Ushuaia, in addition to caring for the car, Girao tells us that he had to plan the meals for the children: “eating at any restaurant on the road is out of the question on a route like this. It can cause discomfort or give you an allergic reaction, “he says.
The general practitioner of the Hospital de Clínicas, Arnaldo Linchtenstein, also points out other types of essential medical care: “Staying hydrated is important. It is also important to keep the inside of the car at a pleasant temperature, especially when traveling with children,” says Doctor Arnaldo Linchtenstein.
Spending a lot of time in the same position can also cause problems like thrombosis, which is the formation of a blood clot in the bloodstream. An individual prone to illness – due to family history or previous illnesses – should seek the advice of a physician. “In some cases, it is possible to prescribe an anticoagulant.” In general, if there is no identified propensity, it is best to move about and stretch at least every two hours. “That helps you relax and circulate the blood,” he recommends.
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