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16th October 2019

How to Stay Safe on a Road Trip

*This is a collaborative post
Somehow I always seem to end up going on road trips. Whether planned or not, I always somehow end up on the road whether it is just travelling across the county or going much further. I am fortunate that my job now often takes me to interesting places from a long weekend in Devon or jetting off to Tenerife I am all over the place and sometimes it is alone but more often than not it is with a rowdy 4 year old, sometimes a teenager and one or more supposed adults from my family as well. Having been a passenger in a car accident when I was 19 the mental scars still stand and I am not the most confident of drivers but that does make me super safe and pretty much makes me drive like a little old lady. However, with technology so readily available and a car full of rowdy family members it is easy to get distracted. So, I thought I’d put together my top tips for staying safe whilst on a road trip.

Driver distraction is one of the major causes of road traffic accidents. I don’t want to be a killjoy, but even overly loud music can affect reaction times.

Unfortunately, 19% of the surveyed drivers admitted that they sometimes take calls while driving, 17% admit that they read texts off of their phone, and 12% send texts. All of these reasons (including using your sat nav) can result in a penalty if the police pull you over and find that it was distracting you. Not only this, this time difference could be the deciding factor between a driver crashing or not.

The creators over at Kwik Fit have created an online “game” where you can even test your reaction time. How good are you at reacting?

Distance

As our roads become increasingly congested – a sad fact that will be reinforced this forthcoming holiday period – just remember, you can’t crash into space! The more space you keep around you, both front and rear, the less chance you will have of a collision.

Less Speeda hand holding a phone with the mileiq app open in a car

In busy congested conditions or in built-up areas, give yourself time. There’s no need to speed and you won’t get there any quicker. Don’t treat speed limits as a target and ensure you are constantly taking road and traffic conditions into account. Also, chill out.

Mobiles

It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving or while stopped with the engine running – unless it’s in hands-free mode. If you break this law, even if you are otherwise driving safely, you could face a fine of £100 and three penalty points on your licence.

Directions

Where possible, travel along with someone else who can watch maps and direct for you. If this isn’t possible then try and focus on the sound only when it comes to directions from any digital Sat Navs you may be using!

a car with satnav active on a phne on the dash

Tired

Driving when tired is a significant contributory factor in road crashes and you should plan your journey so you have time to take breaks. As a guideline, you should take a break of at least 15 minutes whenever you have driven continuously for two hours, or less than this if you begin to experience fatigue whilst driving.

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