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My question applies to circumstances in which one is driving an extended distance by oneself. They also apply primarily--though not exclusively--to people who do not have the Tefilos HaDerech memorized, or whose minhag is to daven in front of a text at all times (i.e., Chabad).

One is supposed to say Tefilos haDerech while on the road. (Source: http://www.chaburas.org/derech.html). Presumably, attempting to say the prayer while actually driving would be prohibited for reasons of pikuach nefesh and kavana. The other options are to pull over, and say the prayer while stopped on the shoulder (i.e., of the highway), or to leave the highway and say the prayer at a rest stop or somewhere off an exit. However, both these options would seem to have problems. The first (stopping on the shoulder) seems like it could still be quite dangerous, especially for visibility reasons at night, or in bad weather conditions. The second is not always practical, and I am not 100% sure whether it would fall under the halacha of literally being on the road.

So, how, when, and where should one say this prayer?

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    You seem to be asking two questions. One: "I can only think of one safe way to do this, but I don't think it counts - does it?" Two: "What other safe, practical ways exist to fulfill this requirement?" – Seth J Feb 18 '15 at 16:05
  • Oh, when I travel north out of London my normal procedure would be M1 then divert at J6 onto A405. Cross M25 and a couple of roundabouts later there is a petrol station, good price. Recite it there at the point of refilling the car for the journey. Pretty certain you've left the Techum by there... Then use the A414 to rejoin the M1 – CashCow Feb 18 '15 at 17:35
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If you have a mechanism (such as Bluetooth) for safely talking on a cellphone in your car:

There's a service I once heard of (in the United States) that is provided for precisely this purpose. In short, call 212-DRIVING (+1-212-374-8464) and a man will dictate the Tefillah. He even pauses after each phrase to let you repeat it as he's saying it.

Similarly, you can call a friend and ask him to dictate the Tefillah to you.

Otherwise:

Take the next exit / rest area, pull over, and then say it.

The second is not always practical, and I am not 100% sure whether it would fall under the halacha of literally being on the road.

I'm not sure where you get the halacha that you literally need to be on the road. The tefillah is for travelling. It needs to be said after a certain minimum distance has been traveled outside the city limits, but does not need to be said while actually traveling. As long as you have a certain minimum distance left for the travel, you can still say it.

As for the practicality of it: barring emergencies, I really cannot imagine a highway or road system that does not have stopping areas along the way...

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    Re: 212-DRIVING, Baruch hanotein la-adam da'at! The reset of the answer would be more valuable if you'd edit in a source for your halachic assertion. – Isaac Moses Feb 18 '15 at 16:00
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    It is actually preferable to stop and then recite it if it is convenient to do so (Shulchan Aruch 110:4, Mishna B'rura 110:21-22). – Fred Feb 19 '15 at 6:18
  • This is a fantastic answer. Thanks. I'm still wondering a bit about the issue of whether one has sufficient kavanah for a prayer while actively driving. – SAH Feb 19 '15 at 22:56
  • @yydl Pursuant to my comment above--just saw a handwashing poster that said the Shulchan Aruch states that you cannot make a blessing while doing "work." They didn't specify avodah/melacha, nor cite the spot in S"A, but I'm wondering now if one may say a bracha while driving..... – SAH Mar 9 '15 at 20:06

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