Ahead of the holiday season, road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist has published its top tips for stress-free driving abroad, to ensure travellers stay safe and don’t break the law on their travels.
With 28 countries in the EU – each with its own set of traffic laws – driving in mainland Europe can be a daunting prospect. However, good preparation can make sure you avoid incident when heading away on holiday.
British drivers can be involved in crashes abroad not just because of poor local driving standards, but also because they are not prepared for the different style of driving in that country. GEM advises that motorists take all the same precautions they would follow when driving at home, but make sure they are aware of the rules of the road in the countries they are visiting.
Planning your route to your destination – and setting out sufficient breaks on days full of driving – can take the stress out of driving abroad, and ensure that drivers’ standards don’t drop too far after many hours behind the wheel non-stop. A good rule to work to is a 15-minute break after every two hours of driving.
Swatting up on local laws is also wise, as Hungary and Slovakia have no tolerance towards drink-driving at all, while it is illegal to run out of fuel on German autobahns. Driving on the other side of the road that you are used to also requires drivers to pay particular attention when negotiating junctions and going the other way around roundabouts.
Adapting to different local styles of driving is also a good idea to avoid incidents with foreign drivers. Make sure not to overload your car too, as restricting your all-round visibility can hinder safe driving. Even when on foot, it’s wise to keep an eye on traffic as not all drivers stop for pedestrians – whether they are on marked crossings or not – depending upon which country you are in.
Picture: GEM Motoring Assist