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Plan your journey - reduce risk, save time and drive more efficiently

Driving Tips

The Facts 

  • The UK has the 5th worst traffic congestion in Europe [1]
  • Congestion-related stress can cause suppressed immune function, raised blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels [2]
  • Traffic congestion can increase stress in male drivers by 60% [2]
  • Bad delays can even cause road rage and often lead to excessive speeding afterwards [3]
  • Congestion increases vehicle wear and tear due to constant clutch and brake use [3]
  • There is a higher likelihood of low speed collisions in traffic queues because of inattention and smaller gaps between vehicles [3]
  • Diversions and delays reduce employee productivity and waste human resources [3]

The Advice

  1. Do you actually need to make the journey by road? If yes, confirm your vehicle is in good mechanical condition before you set out. Always check fluids and tyre pressures
  2. Try to get a night of uninterrupted sleep before any long journey
  3. Ensure you haven’t drunk any alcohol for the preceding 24 hours
  4. If you’re taking any form of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, check if they have any potential side effects that might impair your judgment while driving
  5. Pinpoint your destination exactly. If you rely on a sat nav, ensure you‘ve got the most appropriate postcode; it may not be the Royal Mail one
  6. Plan a route that takes into account any known delays by listening to traffic reports or checking travel websites in advance
  7. Avoid travelling during the high risk hours of 4.00am-6.00am, when your psycho-motor skills are at their lowest ebb
  8. Think of the implications of the weather. For example, if there is a chance of snow or ice, you might be better choosing a motorway route with fewer inclines
  9. If there is a chance you could get stranded in your vehicle, ensure that you have: drinking water, a few high energy bars, a blanket, a torch, a hat, gloves, warning triangle, high vis jacket and first aid kit
  10. Plan a stop of at least 15 minutes every two hours to avoid fatigue
  11. If the journey is likely to take over eight hours, it’s best to plan an overnight stay
  12. Always carry an operational mobile phone and in-vehicle charger with you, in case you have to stop to phone ahead
  13. Ensure that you take and use any eyewear that has been prescribed for you
  14. Always carry an up-to-date road atlas in the vehicle, in case the sat nav fails or loses its signal

 Sources [1] INRIX website [2] Moxon, The Stress of Driving 2011 [3] AA DriveTech 2005

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