Plan Your Journey

28 Aug 2017

A well- planned journey can save you time, reduce stress, minimise distractions and most importantly of all is much safer. From planning your route to making sure you and your vehicle are fit to travel, taking the time to get organised is really worth it.

Route Planning

Write out clear directions or programme your sat-nav before you leave, and most importantly familiarise yourself with the route. Knowing which roads, junctions and landmarks to look out for is far better than simply relying on your sat-nav to get you to your destination. By familiarising yourself with the route you will be more confident about knowing where you are going and be able to concentrate more on the road and on your driving.Keep a map or atlas in the car as a back-up in case of technical failure or emergencies, and check prior to setting off what alternative routes might be available.

Work out how long the journey ought to take, and plan rest stops - we recommend a minimum 20 minute break at least every 2 hours of driving to ensure that you do not succumb to driver fatigue. Share the driving if you can. Book an overnight stop to give yourself a proper break if your journey is especially long.

Be aware that accidents caused by fatigue are more likely on long motorway journeys, and especially between the hours of 2am and 6am. Try to plan your journey so that you’re driving at a time when you won’t be fighting your body clock.

It is also worth factoring in extra time for delays and disruptions, so you don’t feel stressed if you start to run late and get tempted to speed or make risky decisions.

Consider whether you’ll be driving at peak traffic flow times, or whether there are any local events that may impact on normal traffic. Check live traffic information at www.trafficengland.com and listen to local traffic and travel updates as you go in case you need to change your route.

If you have a tall vehicle, roof box or are towing something, make sure the roads you are planning to use will be suitable.

Fit To Travel

Make sure you’re rested and have had something to eat and drink before starting your journey. Tiredness and dehydration can be as dangerous as drink driving.

Make sure your car is fit for the journey: tyres, lights, wipers and fluid levels all need checking before you set off.

You should carry appropriate emergency supplies: blankets and warm clothes for cold weather, snacks and drinks for any long delays, warning triangle and reflective jacket for breakdowns.

Not every journey needs to be treated like a polar expedition, but a little basic planning and preparation will set you up for an easier and safer journey. For more tips on how to travel more safely, visit the advice section of our website or follow us on facebook and twitter. (add links to website and social media)

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