The festival season is here which means a lot of us will be climbing over dusty boxes and making our way through the shed like it’s some kind of assault course to get to our camping gear. Now all you’ve got to do is pack for the weekend and plan your drive there and back.
Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart head of driving and riding advice, has put together some top driving tips to help you make the best out of your weekend.
If this is you, make sure you set the rules from the beginning. Are you going to allow your friends to drink alcohol in your vehicle? Bear in mind that their behaviour could attract the authorities to you. Would a car smelling of alcohol be the best thing for you? Could you get peer pressured to having “just one drink” with friends? We recommend for the driver and passenger to not drink any alcohol in the vehicle – not even one. Why not wait until you’re at the festival so you can party together?
Do you know where you’re going? Have you taken into account the likelihood of traffic? Looking at the route of your journey and the time it takes beforehand gives you a chance to determine how many breaks you need and where you can stop off. Stretching your legs and getting a bit of fresh air at least every two hours can help you stay awake and focussed on the road.
The last thing you want to do is to get to your destination and stress over finding a parking space. Pre-planning your parking spot will save you this hassle. If you’re parking in a field, make sure you check the weather – the last thing you want is to go back to a water-logged field with your wheels stuck in the mud!
You’ve been at the festival for a few hours and the party has started. It’s getting a bit chilly but you’ve left your jacket in your car. Do you go and get it? No, not if you’ve been drinking alcohol. Even if you’re not in the driver’s seat but still accessing your vehicle, you could be charged for accessing your vehicle when over the prescribed limit. Instead of having to try and explain to a traffic officer that you weren’t planning to drive, it’s best to avoid going back to your car at all until the alcohol has left your system.
Are you fit to drive? Have you had enough sleep? Do you have enough energy and has the alcohol from the night before left your system? Find out more here about checking if you’re okay to drive.
Don’t forget to throw away your rubbish and take your tent home with you. And make sure you set some ground rules, like the fact that you’re in charge of the playlist!
Richard said: “Whilst the focus of the weekend may be the festival and the opportunity to let hair down with friends, a carefully planned journey there, proper preparation and caution for the journey back will only add to the enjoyment of the weekend.”
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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