Start university stress-free

Blog post posted on 26/09/23 |

Are you driving to university this September/October? You may be travelling into the unknown with a new course to start and new people to meet, but it's still possible to make your car journey to university as stress-free as possible. Follow this handy guide from IAM RoadSmart to minimise that stress. 

Turn your tunes down 

You may be tempted to crank the volume up  –  who doesn’t like some music on a road trip? But loud music can be distracting, so it’s worth turning it down a notch to help you stay focused on the road.  

Steer clear of phones 

Put your mobile phone in your glove compartment or invest in a hands-free kit. Remember, anyone found using a mobile while driving could face being made to take their test again if they passed within two years prior to the offence. So, don’t risk it. 

Plan your journey 

Keep your road trip stress-free by planning out your route in advance. Even if you have a sat-nav, this is still advisable. Make sure you know where the best places are for a bathroom break or to grab a coffee. Knowing alternative routes to take if there’s lots of traffic is also useful.  

Practice makes perfect 

Getting some practice in on the motorway is another way to prepare for a long journey, especially if you’re not used to travelling at higher speeds. If you’re about to drive on the motorway for the first time, you might be feeling a little daunted. 

You might even want to consider taking some extra driving lessons or an IAM RoadSmart On-Road Modules to help you feel more confident on the motorway. But don’t worry, practice makes progress – the more you drive, the more confident you’ll become. 

 Avoid overloading

It’s easy to get carried away when loading the car up for university. However, breaking down on the side of the road won’t be the best start to freshers’ week.  

Between bags, textbooks and booze, you’ve got a lot to cram in. So, take the time to pack the car properly – and make sure it’s not too heavy. Excess weight will affect the handling of the car. Remember to adjust your tyre pressure if you are loaded to the rafters, but don’t overdo it, you can always collect extra at Christmas. 

Follow these tips from IAM RoadSmart’s Chief Examiner, Richard Gladman, and you’ll be set to have the best possible start to your new life at university. 

“Whether you are driving yourself or getting dropped off, this may be a long journey that is both exciting and daunting at the same time. Plan it carefully and the apprehension will subside as you enjoy the ride. If you are driving yourself, make sure you have somewhere to park when you arrive, sometimes a town centre campus may have restricted parking and the car is an extra worry you don’t need. And remember, fresher’s week, leave your car keys indoors and enjoy a driving free week.”