Group Drives

Many of our members like to get out there and drive their cars with others who share the same interest.  The information in this section is provided for the benefit of both planners and attendees.

ALL ATTENDEES

Requirements and Safety


If you find anything in this section restrictive, we suggest forgoing the group social drives for autocross, HPDE, and other closed-course events.
You must
Be an active member of Lotus Ltd.
Have a valid driver’s license.
Have a valid inspection sticker.
Be able to legally operate your vehicle in every state the event includes.
Reckless drivers are not welcome and memberships may be revoked.
Speeding and racing is foolish and illegal.  It’s a tour, not a track session, and laws are to be obeyed.
Unsafe exhibitions of driving skill are not welcome and that includes tailgating.
You are expected to operate your vehicle safely and are responsible for your own actions.
Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
It is your job to be aware of all laws and legal limits for any state the route includes.
Do not drive while on your cell phone, texting, or performing other distracting actions.
Slow down in areas with pedestrians, crosswalks, congestion, playgrounds, schools, or similar. You may not be speeding, but someone may say you were if an accident occurs.
If someone in the group asks you to address a safety concern, don’t get defensive. Others’ safety margin may be larger than yours and your understanding is appreciated.
Your vehicle must be in good working order and up to the current maintenance schedule requirements.
Check your tire pressure, lug torque, fluid levels, and other vehicle checks prior to and no more than 24 hours before the drive.
General

Traffic and road construction are always possibilities.  Please anticipate that possibility, and don’t hold it against your planners.
Arrive to the event on time with a full tank of gas.
If you’re last and the group is pulled over waiting for you, don’t pull in behind the last car.
Slow down as you approach, flash your lights, and let everyone pull back onto the road.
If you pull over, the group will likely get delayed then separated again trying to pull out.
If you’re last, try to drive so the lead car can see you. That may favor the center or edge of the road or require extra distance between you and the next car.
Keep the car behind you in sight.
If necessary, slow down or pull over where they can see you until they catch up.
If everyone does this, it will trickle forward to the lead car.
Restaurant checks are often split for simplicity, request a separate check if you prefer.
Remember to bring things you may want a long drive. e.g., water, sunblock, a light coat, cap, mp3’s, cell phone charger, etc.
Drive courteously, but this is not the time to let that tractor-trailer into traffic if it doesn’t have the right-of-way.
If people are driving too fast for you to enjoy the scenery, just drive your own pace, let others pass, and meet everyone at the next stop.
If people are driving too slow, ask to be in front on the next stop.
Accelerate from turns after you’ve cleared side-of-the-road debris and you have traction. (The paint on the car behind you should remain on the car behind you.)
Likewise, you may want to give the car in front of you a little room when the car is pulling away from a stop.
 
PLANNERS:
See that everyone, including the planner, reads the ALL ATTENDEES section.
Provide as much information in advance as possible such as starting location/time, addresses of planned stops, drive durations, and maps.
Addresses can make it easier to find the group if you get separated and it allows GPS navigation to be used.
Keep in mind, cell phones may not work in many of the areas that are popular for driving, so don’t depend on them.
Avoid
Sections longer than two hours. One hour may be a good average.
Urban areas, or plan alternate routes in case you get caught in traffic.
Plan changes a week prior to the drive.
Last minute changes unless necessary.
Holiday weekends, foliage season, and other events that will interfere with your drive.
Large groups. More than 10-12 cars can be a challenge. You may want to limit attendance if you’re not comfortable leading groups.
Parking areas that may cause concern, attract too much attention, or require parallel parking.
If you’re not familiar with your entire route, let everyone know that route changes or surprises are a possibility.
Get group agreement on what to do if a dirt road, construction, or traffic is encountered ahead of time.
If you do pass through road construction or a dirt road and can’t navigate around it, drive very slowly.
Stay on schedule, and remember, people may have other commitments.
Get a distracted group back on the road by yelling “time to go” and just getting in your car and driving.
Don’t shorten/eliminate stops because your timing isn’t going as planned without conferring with the group.
Make reservations for meals or at least warn the eatery your group is coming.
Pad break/stop time in your plans by 15 to 30 min. for every stop to keep on schedule.  e.g., if a stop takes you 30 min. normally, you might plan 45 min. for the group.
Plan a gas/bio stop 30 to 60 min. after a meal/beverage stop.  You will be making this stop even if you don’t plan it.
Use GPS navigation to get you back on route, circumvent traffic, estimate time to stops, and keep way points of your route.
If possible, have two-way radios in at least the first and last car to maintain contact if you lose sight/track of each other.
Provide your cell phone number to all participants before the event.
Request cell phone numbers of all participants before the event.
If someone does not provide contact information and is late, do not hold up the rest of the group for them.