Not many things beat the feeling of freedom, when there’s an open road ahead of you, your favourite playlist is on and there’s no work or studying to do in the next few days.
If you’re holding on to a brand new driving licence, that freedom feels even better! But for those of you who aren’t well seasoned as drivers just yet, you should put as much thought into the actual drive as you do on choosing a destination.
Make sure you’re prepared for the road!
1. Make a visit to the mechanic
It’s always important to keep your car maintained but before you head off for a longer drive, it’s good to do the full round of checks. AA recommends to check 6 key areas: fuel, lights, oil, water, electrics and rubber – just think FLOWER.
Even if your car is near perfect, anything can happen on the way so you should know what to check, if you hear a strange sound under the bonnet or a tyre blows.
2. Pack thoroughly
You should always have an emergency kit in the car but it’s good to add on to it for longer drives. Maybe take jumper cables and some gloves with you – as long as you’ve done your FLOWER check.
Check that you have the car manual with you, it’ll help you with any indicator lights you don’t recognise or explain how to access your fuse box. It’s reassuring if you don’t know your car that well.
For the fun part of your drive, pack plenty of fluids and snacks, maybe get an air freshener and have your sunglasses on hand.
3. Plan, plan and plan!
You’ve chosen your destination so you know where you’re heading – but do you really know where you’re going? Spontaneous trips often end up being the best ones but when you’re making a long trip for the first time, it’s critical to plan your route properly.
Make sure you have a good GPS system helping you, and if it’s your phone, keep it on a holder so you’re not distracted – or breaking the law!
Check for any construction works and note down some gas stations or rest stops on the way. It’s recommended that you take a break between every 2,5 hours of driving to stay alert. There are plenty of apps, like Roadtrippers and PetrolPrices, to help you.
4. Choose travel buddies wisely
You might get along with your best friends amazingly, but have you been stuck in a small space for hours before?
Make sure you’re all on the right energy levels – and the right mood – to avoid distractions. The designated driver will need to focus, especially when driving on new roads.
If you’re rotating drivers, make sure the insurance of the car owner covers any driver in case of an accident.
5. Know what to do in an accident
Hopefully you’ll never need to know but it’s critical to be ready, if something happens on the road. A car accident is a very distressing experience but even more so, if it happens far from home and your parents aren’t a quick pick-up away.
Make sure you know what to do if you have an accident – stay calm, stop as soon as you can, contact the emergency services, exchange details with others and contact your insurer as soon as possible.
The insurethebox Accident Alert is a great help in detecting strong impacts to the car and us helping keep drivers safe.
Just follow these tips, stay alert – and you’re ready to go!