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Jeruba's avatar

When driving, do you choose to travel by the shortest, the fastest, or the easiest route?

Asked by Jeruba (51856points) May 9th, 2018

When driving from point A to point B, do you usually choose the shortest route (distance), the fastest route (time), or the easiest route (least complicated or challenging)?


Of course there are trips where there’s really no choice. So those aren’t the ones I’m asking about.


Tags as I wrote them: driving, travel, trips, roads, freeways, highways.

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25 Answers

2davidc8's avatar

Fastest. Why? Because I’m usually running behind.

janbb's avatar

Usually the easiest because I find driving stressful at times. Sometimes the most scenic.

canidmajor's avatar

Easiest for me, too. I often have the luxury of time, so I can choose the most pleasant route. Otherwise, the fastest.

zenvelo's avatar

It depends.

If I have to get somewhere, I will take the fastest. Around here, the easiest usually has a lot of traffic.

But if I am at leisure, I will often take the most scenic. That ends up being the most relaxing and enjoyable.

For instance, going from San Francisco to Monterey there are three ways to go. The fastest is down Hwy 101 to Prunedale and then through Castroville. Nothing scenic or enjoyable.

But I can take an hour more and drive down the coast the whole way, avoiding San Jose and Silicon Valley completely. A much nicer day.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Fastest usually but sometimes easiest / simplistic for least number of turns.

JLeslie's avatar

With my husband, the route that has the least traffic lights. He hates stopping for lights, I’s much rather go ten miles out of my way on an hour trip to stay on a highway. Even country roads with no lights is often better than major commercial thoroughfares with lots of lights. Unless the country road goes through small towns that require you drive 35 mph.

If it’s just me I often choose to take the shortest route, but not always.

I always look at the whole map, and might do a combination. I don’t rely on GPS to decide my route, I decide after looking at the choices. If I make a turn not dictated by GPS it eventually reroutes, and that usually works fine.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Fastest. I hate driving.

chyna's avatar

Fastest. “I feel the need for speed.”

Aethelwine's avatar

I choose the route with the least traffic.

Yellowdog's avatar

Fastest, unless I have a lot of time, in which I go the most interesting or scenic.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

When working the route is usually dictated ,in my private vehicle I like taking the easiest way even if it’ a bit longer.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Wait! What happened to “the cheapest” option?
If it is to a new place I prefer the easiest. Around here the easiest is usually the fastest.

I prefer to not use a GPS for most of my driving. I can’t stand the noise and distraction. I will look up a location on line and then go.
Do I sound like a Luddite?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Yup, LG.
We had to travel last week for a 58 minute trip. Using GPS we drove for 18 minutes and suddenly it was the remainder of the trip was 1 hour and 35 minutes. The road we were on had been shutdown by a multi vehicle (found out later), we use a detour and arrived 5 minute late. If we had kept going we would have been in gridlock and a long stretch with no exits off the Interstate.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Depends on if I am in a hurry.

Sometimes I take the most scenic. Or the most interesting culturally. I see car travel as a journey in and of itself, not just an annoyance to get some place.

It is really mood dependent.

marinelife's avatar

It depends on several factors: my mood, the time of day, the traffic, what other things I have to do. If time permits, I often go the most scenic way.

ragingloli's avatar

No choice involved. I use public transport.

kritiper's avatar

When not working, the safest, least congested.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

^^Would that not be considered the easiest as well??

Jeruba's avatar

@SQUEEKY2, not by me. The easiest has the fewest turns and no tricky navigation (such as sudden road splits where you have to be in the correct lane already), prominent landmarks, and a clear plan B if I miss a turn or exit. I will go some distance out of my way and add significantly to my time to avoid a road hassle or, worse, the risk of getting lost. I have nightmares about getting lost.

I thought that you of all people would choose the shortest or fastest rather than the easiest. I bet you never get lost.

I don’t have a GPS or a smartphone to run it on, so I consult Google and actual paper maps and write things down in large Sharpie notes that I can read while driving and without my reading glasses. The only place I have ever gotten terminally lost is San Francisco. Running a one-way gauntlet and desperately looking for someplace to pull over so I could consult my map, I panicked and bailed at the first sight of a freeway entrance. The last time I had to go to SF, I paid my son to drive me.

I don’t like driving, can you tell?

Patty_Melt's avatar

GPS, bah!
I have always mapped trips before leaving.
When taking long trips through several states, I pull out the Rand McNally book of highway maps.
Mostly I look at what will be safest, especially when mountain roads are involved.
I write down my entire trip. When I am going to have a highway change, I list the last two cities I will pass before it, so I know when it it time to reduce gawking and start paying attention to those big green signs which tell me what lane to be in.
With all major change points in all caps, and reference towns in order on my list, I clip it to my visor.
I never got lost with the method, and I love the long drives, well, except in 1990 when I got pinned down in Limon Colorado by tornado. I and my baby had to ride it out with a dozen other customers in a Wendy’s freezer. Driving away from that town felt like visiting Sodom and Gomorrah the day after.
I could not bear to look either left or right. Just seeing directly ahead was awful enough. I had to drive between two toppled semi trucks. It looked like beached whales.
The devastation was everywhere.
So, weather is a good aspect to keep in mind.
For local trips, I prefer to avoid those beltway, freeway, bypass, whatever your city calls ‘em heavy traffic multi-lane nightmares. During rush hours I even prefer to avoid major streets and opt for side streets.
I know what I am doing, but the heavier the traffic, the more strangers I am trusting to don’t be ‘effing idiots.

Zaku's avatar

Before any of those options, unless I’m pressed for time, I choose the most enjoyable route. And since I enjoy variety and exploration, that sometimes means a different route than I would have taken to get to the same place, the last time I went there.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I choose to stay off of the interstate unless I’m on a long road trip.

radhajain's avatar

I would choose the easiest- least complications.

Ruchimaha123's avatar

The fastest- it would provide me more time to visit the place I want to.

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