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Top tips for holiday driving – home and abroad

Top tips for holiday driving – home and abroad

1 August 2018

The school summer holiday is the busiest time of year for going on holiday, whether you are staying in this country or going abroad so we have some top road safety tips for travelling on your holiday.

Whether you are going on holiday in this country or on your way to an airport or ferry terminal to travel abroad, for most this means a car journey. This can be the most stressful part of your well-earned break, particularly if you are travelling at the weekend with what seems like the rest of the population.

Top tips and advice:

  • Getting a quick start after work on a Friday afternoon may seem a good idea at the time but an hour or so on the road after a week at work will have an effect on the driver. A lack of concentration, slow reactions and tired eyes are likely to lead to serious and even fatal errors being made. Tiredness causes up to 20 per cent of crashes on motorways and trunk roads.
  • Any long journeys will take it out of you so plan a rest stop at least every two hours. Don’t be tempted to open a window or turn up the music and push on a bit further – this doesn’t work. Stop in a safe place, have a proper rest for at least 15 minutes, stretch your legs and have a short sleep if you need it.
  • Plan your journey. Have maps ready and stop to look at them properly. If you have a Sat Nav, watch the road not the screen. Give yourself plenty of time if you have a deadline to meet, such as an airport check in. That way you will avoid stress and the temptation to take risks if you are running late. If you do get caught in traffic, keep calm. You are more likely to make mistakes and end up involved in a crash if you lose your cool.
  • Switch off your mobile phone or let one of your passengers answer the call for you, but don’t become involved in the conversation. Even hands free phones are a big distraction.
  • Distractions in the car can be a big problem, particularly in heavy traffic and on unfamiliar roads. Keep your eyes on the road and avoid fiddling with radios, CDs or other gadgets.
  • Long journeys can be boring for children – try to keep them occupied and they will be less likely to cause a distraction. There are plenty of car journey games they can play – look on the internet for ideas.
  • If you are driving abroad find out the rules of the road for the country you are visiting and the penalties you may face if you break the law.
  • Make sure your vehicle is serviced regularly and safe to make the journey. Check the tyre pressure before you go – will you need to increase the pressure if the car is fully loaded. Also check the oil, coolant and washer bottle levels – top up if necessary.
  • Finally – have a great holiday.
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First Published:01 August 2018