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Abbott Clinical Research

Travel Information - Driving


Travel Information Categories:
General Travel Information
Tips for Air Travel
Tips For Bus Travel
Tips for Train Travel
Tips for Automobile Travel

Tips for spending the night afar

Tips for saving Money

Reference: Airlines, Hotels, Hostels, Booking Sites, Misc Sites



Tips for Driving:


I recommend not driving a long distance right before a screening or check in.  Some people can do it while others will really mess up their labs so try to get there at least a few hours early or the night before and get some rest.  Driving at night makes you want to sleep but don't take caffeine pills or drink coffee or energy drinks because that will mess up your labs. 


- Join a motor club such as AAA or Roadside assistance service.  In case you break down, you will be able to get help at an affordable rate.  Many insurance plans have roadside assistance. 


- Get an oil change before you go so they can check and fill all the vital fluids under the hood.  If you have an older car, get a tune-up.  Also make sure your tires have good tread and are inflated to the recommended PSI.  Bring an emergency kit with first aid, blankets, extra clothes and enough food and water for 2 days in case of breakdown or plunging off a bridge.



- Inspect your vehicle.  It's the law anyhow.  Make sure all of your lights are working. 


- Fill up at gas stations away from the Interstate.  Local stations can be cheaper by ten cents or more per gallon.  A mile or two out of your way can save a lot.  Wal-Mart has a discount if you have a Wal-Mart gift card.


- Split up your driving on cross-country trips.  Don't try to drive to much as the stress can affect your blood pressure and other lab results.  If you get tired, pull over for the night or at least a few hours of rest at a rest stop. 


- Drive with your windows up and your AC on.  Studies have been shown that you will get better gas mileage this way than driving with your windows down. 


- Drive at night.  Your car won't run as hot which will result in a little better gas mileage and slightly less wear on the tires.  Also, there will be less traffic but watch out for wildlife crossing the roads!


- If you can carpool, that will help out with expenses.  If you let others drive, just make sure your insurance covers all drivers.  Also, make sure you know who your traveling with. 


- Don't text or talk on cell phones while driving.  Many states ban this activity and you can be ticketed and it's just dangerous. 


- Always wear your seatbelt.  All passengers should be buckled.  Many states have laws that all passengers must be buckled. 


- Let people know where your going and which route you are taking.  You can also use GPS tracking apps on your phone so they can see where you are.  If you crash or drive into a ravine, at least someone will know which one. 


- Avoid driving through major cities during rush hour.  If you do, plan enough extra time.  Many cities have bypass highways or loops.  If the Interstate has three numbers, then it's a secondary route that should avoid the heavy areas.  Also, some cities have toll roads.



- Keep an eye on the weather.  While the weather may be bad, unless the city is completely shut down, the clinic will still operate as usual and not allow late arrivals for screenings and check ins. 


- Keep records of your mileage and receipts. You may be able to deduct your travel expenses on your taxes. 


- Keep an eye on your gas mileage.   To calculate your gas mileage, record your odometer reading.  Every time you fill up, fill up tank completely.  Subtract the odometer reading at each fill up from your previous and divide by the amount of gas you just bought and that is your gas mileage.  IE you drove 400 miles since your last fill up and you put 16 gallons of gas in, you're getting 25 mpg.  A steady decline in mpg may indicate problems in the engine so a tune-up and change of air filter can help.


- If you need to pull over for a while, many Wal-Mart's allow overnight parking.  Technically intended for RV's which the expectation if you doing your shopping there, as long as your parked away from the building, you should be good.  Some Wal-Mart's explicitly post no overnight parking so stay away from those.


- Need to shower before hitting a screening?  Most truck stops have showers for $5 to $20.  If you've been driving all night, a hot shower and change of clothes will be great before screening!



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