The Great British Summer can be an unpredictable thing – but one thing we’ll all likely be doing is heading out on a road trip! Come rain or shine – there isn’t much that will stop you from hitting the road this summer with your friends. We’ve done some research into young drivers going on road trips and found that there are quite a few things that young drivers feel under pressure to do when they’re behind the wheel.
It’s important to remember that even though one person is in charge of the car, all passengers have a responsibility to be sensible. My daughter is 18 and just passed her driving test – I know she, like many young drivers out there will be heading on road trips this summer. We want you to have a fun summer, but also a safe one – so here’s my top tips to keep your road trip free from distractions – for drivers, and passengers! We’ve also included a helpful infographic to show you what pressures young drivers are dealing with around the UK.
- Tempers can fly if you get lost, so it is worth planning ahead, both for a smooth journey and to make the most of your time away
- If you do get lost, don’t panic. Pull over, work out where you are going and put a passenger in charge of navigating so you can concentrate on the road
- If you’re travelling with friends who all love different music – create a playlist between you all before heading off. That way, everyone’s happy!
- Snacks – don’t forget em’.
- You do not want to add the stress of the unknown to the stress of the bay park. Check parking locations at your destination to make sure you know where you’re heading. Don’t forget to have change to hand to pay for it either
- Remember, you’re on holiday so you can take your time!
Set those ground rules (and roles)
- Give everyone in the car a role. Music maestro, snack distributor, direction checker. Get everyone on board to help you get to the destination as smoothly as possible
- As the driver, if there is anything you don’t want passengers to do on your trip – tell them beforehand! You may ask everyone to put their phones away, keep the music at a set level etc. You’re the driver, so you’re in charge
- Driving to impress is never a good idea – your friends may want you to overtake that car or speed through the upcoming amber light, but it is just not worth the risk
Respect the driver
- If you have your phones out – taking selfies and Snapchatting the journey – it can be a big distraction for the driver. Some passengers even try to get the driver involved in taking a selfie! It may only take a few seconds, but it involves visual, cognitive and manual distractions meaning there’s no concentration left for the driver for the road. Consider putting your phone away completely so there’s no distractions at all
- Don’t encourage dangerous behaviour for the driver. Telling them to speed up, overtake, go through amber/red lights is dangerous and not needed
Driving the next day
- If you know you need to head off at a certain time after a night of drinking – stop drinking earlier on in the night. One pint of beer can take around 2 hours to leave your system (depending on your weight, gender, metabolism and food intake)
- If you know it’s going to be a long and alcohol fuelled night – plan to set off much later in the day. If you’re staying a hotel, check to see if you can extend your check-out time. Taking those extra hours before driving again can be really valuable
Don’t be tempted to use your mobile phone
Summer brings sunshine (mostly), freedom, fun and of course, road trips! We want to you have a fun filled summer but it’s essential that you remember to be safe in the car. Remember to enjoy the freedom! You’ve worked hard to pass your driving test and now it’s the time to embrace it. Go to new places, explore different areas and have fun whilst you’re doing it. It’s time to go and make some memories!