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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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