Road trips are fun adventures that can be filled with the unknown.
You sometimes might even come across odd, novelty stores and attractions.
With the open road before you, there’s no telling what’s in store.
If you’re planning to take an 800-mile road trip or you just have a long trip ahead of you, then you may wonder how long it’s going to take to reach your destination.
Here’s what you need to know about how long it takes to drive 800 miles.
How Long Does It Take To Drive 800 Miles?
Driving 800 miles at 70 miles per hour will take 11 hours, 25 minutes, and 42 seconds.
There’s a handy formula you can use from Research Maniacs to determine how long it will take to drive 800 miles no matter how fast you’re going.
The calculations are as follows:
Since you’re driving 800 miles and you plan on going 70 miles per hour, to determine how many hours it will take you, you need to divide 800 by 70.
800 divided by 70 is 11.4285714285714.
Thus, you get 11 hours.
The next step is to determine the minutes.
To do so, you’ll take the long number behind the decimal and multiply that by 60 (minutes).
0.4285714285714 multiplied by 60 is 25.714285714284.
Thus, you get 25 minutes.
The final step is to determine the seconds.
Again, you’ll take the long number behind the decimal and multiply it by 60 (seconds).
0.714285714284 multiplied by 60 is 42.85714285704.
Thus, you get 42 seconds.
You can continue to break down how long it will take by multiplying the decimal points by milliseconds and so on.
However, driving 800 miles will take you 11 hours, 25 minutes, and 42 seconds at 70 miles per hour.
That said, some factors can make your journey last longer.
Here are some of those factors:
1. Driving Below 70 MPH
The calculation above depends on your driving 70 miles per hour for your entire trip.
If you ever dip below 70 miles per hour (MPH), then you’re going to add time to your journey.
That’s because the slower that you drive, the less distance you cover.
Unless you have cruise control on, it can be difficult to maintain the same speed throughout your journey.
You may even drive faster than 70 MPH at times which can make your journey a bit shorter.
That’s because you’re covering more distance in less time.
Any time your speed dips below 70 MPH, covering 800 miles is going to take longer than 11 hours, 25 minutes, and 42 seconds.
Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles of driving 800 miles and arriving exactly on time is traffic.
You can’t always count on open roads which enable you to maintain 70 MPH consistently.
More often, you’re going to have to slow down and speed up to get around cars.
If you’re passing through an area with a lot of traffic, then you also must contend with potential traffic congestion.
You might even come to a standstill because of it.
If you hit traffic, then you can expect your speed to fall below 70 MPH.
Since you’re no longer driving at 70 MPH, it’s going to take you longer to drive 800 miles.
With traffic also comes accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were an estimated 6,756,000 traffic crashes reported to the police in 2019.
Of those crashes, 36,096 people died and 2,740,000 people were injured.
Clearly, accidents happen often.
The longer you’re on the road, the more likely you are to either find yourself in an accident or witness one.
800 miles is a long way to drive.
In that time, you might witness an accident or end up in one.
If you witness an accident or the aftermath of an accident, then this can also make your trip last longer.
As a direct witness, you will need to wait until the police arrive.
You then must give them an account of what you witnessed.
This helps them determine who was at fault.
Depending on how long it takes the police to arrive and if anyone needs to go to the hospital, you could be waiting for a while.
The longer you wait around, the longer it will take you to reach your destination since you’re not making any progress towards it.
If you approach the accident after the fact, then you’ll also face a delay.
You usually have to wait for the police to clear the road.
They need to move the cars and injured passengers, and then clean any debris from the road.
That’s after they’ve collected and documented the evidence that they need.
It can take some time for the police to clear the road.
That time is extended when those who are injured are waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Every minute that you wait is another minute added to your drive time.
Finally, if you end up in an accident, then it may take even longer for you to get to your destination.
If your car needs repair, then you’ll need to visit a mechanic before you can continue your journey.
If you need medical attention, then you won’t be able to drive until you’re taken care of.
Accidents can extend your journey significantly.
Accidents aren’t the only factor that can cause a major delay on your 800-mile road trip.
If you run into a batch of foul weather, then you may need to wait until it passes.
Severe thunderstorms, for example, can be dangerous to drive in.
Heavy rain can make it impossible to see ahead of you.
The wind could even push your car into another lane if not off the road entirely.
It can be difficult to see cars in front of you and can make it difficult for others to see you.
If the weather is dangerous, then you may choose to exit the highway and wait it out in a parking lot or even a hotel.
Since you’re no longer progressing on your journey, time continues to add to it.
Extreme cases of weather can even stop your journey altogether.
If a tornado or hurricane passes through the area, for example, it can destroy the road or fill it with debris.
If it becomes dangerous or impossible to drive on the road, then you may need to wait for someone to clear it.
You can also always try to find a different route.
However, since it isn’t a direct path, you might add a few extra miles to your journey and thus add some time to your journey, too.
800 miles takes longer to drive if you run into bad weather.
5. Toll Roads
If you’re driving on the highway, then there’s a good chance that you’re eventually going to encounter a toll road.
Many states have toll roads as a means of generating money for the repair of their highways and infrastructure.
If you happen to travel through the area often, then you may know of routes that can help you avoid paying tolls.
However, those who are just traveling through the area on a road trip can expect to pay a toll.
The problem with toll roads is that they can create bottlenecks on the highway.
Everyone has to stop to pay the toll.
Some toll roads still hire people to collect money from drivers, which makes the process a bit slower since the toll collector often must make change for drivers.
Although they do their best to hurry everyone along, they can only go so fast.
Even automated toll booths take some time.
The booth has to process how much money you put into it, then give you the appropriate change if necessary.
Then it needs to alert the arm to lift so you can pass through.
There’s also the time it takes for you to get your change or card ready to pay the toll.
Everyone in the line ahead of you must do this as well.
Toll booths can add time to your journey because they completely halt your progress.
Until you pass the booth, your speed drops from 70 to 0 MPH.
Toll booths can make your 800-mile trip last longer.
6. Rest Stops
11 hours is a long time to drive without taking a break.
You’ll need food, bathroom breaks, and even rest.
While it is possible to drive all 11 hours without taking a break, it puts a lot of strain on your body.
This is especially true for those who aren’t used to driving on the road for long periods.
The more tired you become, the more likely you are to get in an accident.
Because of that, it’s a good idea to take plenty of breaks.
Most states have rest stops along their highways.
Some even have huge rest stops filled with fast-food restaurants.
There are also usually several small cities or hubs where you can get off the road, eat at a restaurant, or stay at a hotel.
Because 11 hours is a long time for anyone to drive, it’s not a bad idea to split it into two days of driving.
The first day may be six hours of driving and the second day may be five hours of driving.
You can make that time even shorter by splitting it into three or four days.
Of course, the more days you add, the longer your journey is going to take.
Even splitting it into two days of driving means you’re going to be spending a good amount of time not making any progress.
You might be relaxing in a hotel instead.
That 11-hour journey ends up becoming much longer since you’re adding time to the clock.
Even stopping to use a restroom or eat food adds some time to your journey.
However long it takes you to get back on the road is the amount of time you should add to your driving time.
For example, if you rest for eight hours, then you should add eight hours to your driving time.
Taking rests can make your 800-mile trip last longer.
How To Make Driving 800 Miles Go Faster
If you’re not loving the idea of taking 11 hours, 25 minutes, and 42 seconds to get to your destination, then you may wonder how you can make that time go faster.
Here are a few things you can do to lessen the length of your trip:
1. Drive Faster
Perhaps the best way to trim down 800 miles is to drive faster.
That said, you should only drive faster if you’re still within the speed limit for that specific highway.
For example, if the speed limit on the highway is 75 MPH instead of 70, then you can trim down the time by going 75 MPH instead.
When you drive 75 MPH, following the calculation above, driving 800 miles ends up taking you 10 hours and 40 minutes.
You’re basically able to shave an entire hour off your journey.
Driving the speed limit, if it’s faster than 70 MPH, can help you lessen the time it takes to drive 800 miles.
2. Drive A Direct Path
You may decide to save some money by avoiding toll roads.
However, most toll roads are on highways along a direct path from one city to the next.
By not taking the toll road, you’re going to add more miles to your 800-mile trip.
That’s going to increase the time it takes to get to your destination.
As such, it’s a better idea to drive the 800 miles as directly as possible.
By limiting any extra miles tacked onto the journey, you can keep your trip right at that 11-hour and 25-minute mark.
This also goes for other obstacles that you may encounter.
If the delay doesn’t seem like it’s going to take that long, then it’s worth sticking with your direct route.
Driving the 800 miles directly, instead of tacking on extra miles, can make your journey shorter.
3. Drive In Shifts
One of the problems with driving 800 miles is that it can be exhausting.
It’s difficult for one person to drive that distance, especially if they’re not a professional driver.
One way that you can speed up the 800-mile trip is to drive in shifts.
This ensures that you’re able to complete the journey in a single day.
While you’ll still likely need to stop for bathroom breaks, food, and gas, you won’t have to take a long rest in a hotel.
Stopping and staying at a hotel can add substantial time to your journey.
By driving in shifts, everyone gets to rest while they’re not on duty.
This ensures that you can keep driving the 800 miles without stopping fully and arrive at your destination only a little after the 11-hour and 25-minute mark.
Driving in shifts can make your 800-mile trip go faster.
4. Avoid Accidents And Traffic
Another big factor that can add time to your journey is traffic and accidents.
The good news is that you can avoid those by using Google Maps or another GPS that tracks traffic information.
The moment that an accident or traffic congestion occurs, you can see it on the GPS.
Some technology will even tell you the estimated time it will take you to pass through it.
If that time is long, then you can choose a different route around the congestion.
While you’ll still be tacking on more time since you’re no longer taking the direct route, you’ll actually end up saving more time since you’re not stuck in a traffic jam.
By avoiding those areas, you can make your journey more efficient and arrive at your destination a little faster.
The time it takes to drive 800 miles depends on the speed that you’re traveling.
If you’re driving 70 MPH or even an average of 70 MPH, then it will take you 11 hours, 25 minutes, and 42 seconds to arrive at your destination.
That said, there are plenty of factors and variables on the road that can make your trip last longer.