AARP Driving Resource Center

Selecting Routes — Local and Long Distance Driving

Know what to consider when choosing the road to take

Choosing a route has become much easier with all the trip-planning tools that are available. Do you want to bypass a toll road or figure out the shortest distance for your trip?

See also: Learn how changes in your brain impact your driving

Many Web-based resources or navigation systems can help you. Here are several trip-planning tools to explore either alone or in combination with one another.

  • Online map tools and other websites
  • Navigation systems
  • Mobile apps on a smartphone
  • Paper maps and atlases

There are several things to consider when choosing routes:

  • What is the safest route to my destination?
  • What areas do I want to avoid? For example, are there busy or confusing intersections, frequent left turns, poorly lit streets or construction sites?
  • Can I combine trips?
  • Have I checked the latest traffic report updates using radio, newspaper, email, social media or my state department of transportation’s website?
  • What are the emergency evacuation routes in my community?

Once you select a route, think about how you can make the trip as safe and pleasurable as possible. Some possibilities are to schedule your trip to avoid rush-hour traffic, high speed roads, bad weather, dimly lit conditions and times when you, the driver, are not at your best.

Thumbtack on a roadmap, Driving Resource Center

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