Summer is finally here, and it’s worth thinking about the changes you need to make if you are planning to drive abroad.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has issued some simple guidelines to ensure that you’re experience is safe as well as relaxing.

•Concentrate all the time you are driving. Tiredness can be a problem on a long journey, but it can be made worse if you are not used to driving on the “other” side of the road.

•"Think Right – Look Left" every time you start to drive or approach a roundabout or road junction.

•Know your road rules – many rules and traffic regulations are the same as the UK, but some countries do have particular rules and regulations, and they may have changed since you were last there. For example, Germany now has Low Emission Zones which apply not just to commercial vehicles but to cars as well.

•Understand the meaning of road signs – remember the general rule: triangles warn, circles prohibit and rectangles inform.

•Carry a warning triangle – it is a legal requirement in most European countries if you have a breakdown or accident. Some countries may also require a second triangle.

Most importantly, don’t fall into local habits, for example, following very close to vehicles in front at speed. It’s easy to fall into “holiday mode” and stop paying attention, but this can lead to accidents.

The IAM has grown to become the UK’s leading road safety charity, dedicated to raising driving standards, engaging with the road-using public and influencing road safety policy.

For further information, go to

Stephen Jury


June 2, 2008

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