When in roam
Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week, with the British summer looking less than promising, he is advising on driving abroad.
- Prepare your car beforehand. An easy way to do this is by taking your car in for a service, if it’s due. There are also checks you can make yourself, like checking tyre pressures and tread, as well as topping up oil and coolant.
- Going on a touring holiday consequently means that you will be using your vehicle for long periods of time, increasing wear and tear, as well as the build-up of dirt. Make sure you make daily checks of the tyres, windscreen, mirrors and lights.
- Be sure to take a comfort break after every two hours of driving to combat fatigue.
- Don’t forget you’ll need to drive on the right hand side of the road. It could be worth asking your passengers to remind you of this too.
- You’ll need to take appropriate documentation to comply with requirements of immigration and customs: driving licence, driving licence counterpart, vehicle registration document (V5), insurance certificate and passports (for those travelling).
- You must display a GB sign on your vehicle. Failure to comply could result in an on-the-spot fine. If your number plates include the GB euro-symbol, you will not need to display a GB sticker within the EU.
- Most countries require drivers to carry reflective jackets and warning triangles.
- Don’t forget, if you’re driving through France you are obligated to carry a breathalyser.
- Ensure you adjust the light beam pattern to suit driving on the right so that the dipped beam doesn’t dazzle oncoming drivers.
If you’re planning to drive in Europe, you’ll need to be aware that driving laws and regulations differ from country to country. Even if you’re planning to merely pass through a country, you’ll need to be aware of their regulations for touring drivers. Plan and prepare for your trip abroad and get up to speed with the local rules of the road.