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Higher education begins as you leave: tips from IAM RoadSmart

Fresher’s week will start soon in full force; for many students they will be making their way off to university for the first time. For many this trip will be the furthest they have driven, and in an area they are not yet familiar with. This week’s tips give advice to students packing their bags for the big drive or ride to university from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.

  • Make sure you are covered. It goes without saying you should always ensure you have the correct level of insurance and breakdown cover. Tell your insurer about any change of address or you could invalidate your cover. If you are planning to buy a vehicle to travel up to your university, get it serviced or checked over before you go. If you need, ask either a parent or an experienced driver to sit with you on the journey
  • Go green and share! You can save money on motoring costs and be kinder to the planet by buddying up with pals going to the same university. Another option is to sign up to a buddy up service such as, which helps you match other university students making similar journeys to you up and down the country
  • Turn off the distractions. Lower the music and try to keep the noise in the car to the minimum as you need to remain focused on the road – believe it or not music with a fast beat encourages you to drive faster
  • Set off in the daytime. If you are unfamiliar with the route and do not feel confident driving at night, why not set off in the day time to avoid any hassles? Consider a few extra refresher lessons or a motorway module to help you gain more confidence when the evenings start drawing in 
  • Turn off your phone. If you are driving alone, caught up in traffic or whatever the scenario, the temptation to use Instagram, Snapchat or Candy Crush will always arise. Don’t give it a chance turn it off and put it out of reach

Richard said: “Moving away from home for the first time is always stressful, so make sure you know the route, where to stop for breaks and where you can park at your new home for the next few months. While you may get a broken heart at university don’t start by breaking any of your hard earned belongings. Pack carefully ensuring you can see out of the car and don’t overload it or have loose items rolling around inside. If you are unsure of anything have the confidence to ask; experienced drivers will always share their knowledge.”


Notes to editors:

  1. Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.
  2. IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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