Tips to Improve Your Driving Comfort When Going Long Distances

by Laura C. Jones

Did you know that most Australians spend about an hour to an hour and a half daily in their vehicles? And if you’re someone who frequently ventures through the outback and enjoys exploring the vast Australian wilderness, you probably spend even more time in your vehicle. If that’s the case, you probably agree that comfort plays a huge role in your experience.

Comfort can be the difference between whether you have to take a nap right after you arrive at your destination, or start setting up camp and hitting the hiking trail. That being said, here are some of the best ways you can improve the comfort of your journey.

Position Your Seat Properly

You’ll be spending many hours on your seat, no matter whether you’re the driver or passenger, so it only makes sense that you adjust the seat to provide as much comfort as possible. How you sit has a huge effect on your body. This is typically not noticeable on short journeys, but being seated for hours on end can result in back, shoulder, neck and leg pain.

That being said, adjust your seat to ensure it conforms to your body. And believe it or not, adjusting your seat to ensure proper posture not only improves comfort but safety as well. Make sure you can see your mirrors well and can reach the pedals and steering wheel without having to extend if you’re the one operating the vehicle. If you aren’t comfortable even after adjusting your seat, you should consider getting a specialist cushioned seat cover as extra support for your back.

Protect Yourself Against the Elements

Australia is notorious for having extreme weather almost all year round. The heat can be unbearable, especially throughout the summer, forcing you to have the air conditioning on at all times. However, having the air con on for long trips can have a huge effect on your fuel economy. With rising fuel prices, your trip can end up costing double. What most 4×4 enthusiasts do is invest in 4×4 equipment, such as car wind deflectors, also known as weather shields.

The car wind deflectors on the market are designed to significantly improve your comfort by allowing you to have your windows open when driving in all types of weather. As their name implies, weather shields provide protection from the sun, wind and rain, preventing the elements from going into your cabin and causing discomfort. These accessories are quite affordable and easy to install, making them a valuable investment in the long term.

Phone Accessories

As much as we don’t like to admit it, most of us use our phones while driving, even though we know it’s not safe and should be avoided at all costs. Phone accessories can make using the phone while driving considerably safer. However, this doesn’t mean it’s risk-free, and you should be extremely cautious regardless! The most popular phone accessories are phone holders, chargers, and Bluetooth radio transmitters.

Phone holders make it easy to mount your phone anywhere along your dashboard, so you can easily pay attention to your navigation while driving. Furthermore, phone holders allow you to interact with your phone without taking your eyes fully off the road ahead of you. You can mount your phone using a vent clip, a magnet, or a CD holder.

Car chargers are extremely valuable accessories when traveling long distances. Phones have become an integral part of our everyday lives, and no matter how much we want to escape technology, we’re still dependent on it to some extent. Most modern vehicles come with a USB port that allows you to charge your phone or connect it to your head unit. If you don’t have one, though, you’ll need to get a car charger that plugs into a 12V socket in your vehicle. If you don’t have a free 12V socket, you can always use the one for the cigarette lighter. When buying a car charger, make sure you get one that provides enough power for the device you’re charging.

Bluetooth radio transmitters are ideal for vehicles that don’t have integrated Bluetooth. These devices are plug-and-play, and all you need is a 12V socket to plug them into and enjoy a Bluetooth connection. This allows you to wirelessly control your radio or blast music using your phone.

Roof Rack

You might be wondering: “What do roof racks have to do with comfort?”. The answer is simple – they provide storage areas for items and equipment that you might otherwise be transporting in your cabin. Not only does transferring all those items improve comfort, but safety as well. These pieces of 4×4 equipment come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and they’re a must-have for longer journeys when you want to bring as many things as you can to make your overall trip more convenient and comfortable.

Roof racks are versatile accessories and depending on your roof set up, the ideal roof rack kit for you will vary. Roof bars, for example, are the most simple type of roof rack system, and they only allow you to transport light items on them, such as fishing rods, or a tent. Some vehicles come with stock roof bars that run the length of the vehicle. However, these roof bars won’t do you any good, as you’ll also need bars that run from side to side.

Alternatively, you can attach roof baskets to the roof bars. These setups include a metal basket (generally made of aluminum), where you can place a lot of equipment and gear. The edges run from side to side, front to back, and there’s a mesh in between. Lastly, you can go with a full-length cage, which is the largest, most heavy-duty solution. You can get them with the front or back missing, or the sides missing, allowing you to overhang larger and irregularly-shaped items and equipment. One thing you have to keep in mind when buying cages, though, is the weight.

Speaking of weight, make sure you don’t surpass the recommended GVWM and the roof weight capacity rate. Neglecting these things can lead to accidents and other potential issues with your vehicle.

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