31 Jul 2013

Safe driving tips for the holiday season

Speedmonkey is pleased to host a short blog by AS Smunch, president of the Caravans and Campers Association (CACA)
Summer is upon us and once again it is time for us drivers to don our string-back driving gloves and safely transport our nearest and dearest to the caravan site of our choice.

In order that we don't create carnage on our roads this holiday season I would like to pass on a few hints and tips to you in order to make your journey as safe and enjoyable as possible.

  • Forget speeding.  Speedsters will always want to pass you, especially if you drive something sporty like a Honda Jazz with its new fangled VTEC engine.  But overtaking is dangerous and may lead to death for everyone concerned.  Instead give the speedsters a wave and let them enjoy the sights and sounds of Britain's marvellous roads network at the same speed as you.  
  • Understand safe speeds.  A lot of roads have a frankly astonishing 60 mph speed limit.  This is far too high.  We would condone a steady 40 to 45 mph at the very most.  But also, some villages have their speed limits set to 30mph.  We believe that our members, many of whom are Advanced Drivers, are sufficiently skilled enough to drive at 40 mph in these 30 mph zones.
  • Caravans are fun!  Who wants to sleep in a smelly old bed that someone else has slept in.  Not us!  Our advice is to invest in a competent towing car, such as a Daewoo Leganza or SsanYong Rodius and buy a caravan to suit your needs.  If a new caravan is outside your budget then many secondhand bargains are available.
  • Kick off your trip by filling up with fuel, sweets (Werther's Originals are a favourite of mine) and something to read in traffic jams (the Daily Mail will do if you have completed your wordsearch book)
  • Only stop if you have to.  This is especially important on long, single lane roads.  Make sure you have packed enough supplies to keep on going until you reach your destination.  Nobody likes having to find the caravan site toilet in the dark so keep on going and reach your destination in daylight hours.
  • Find your mirrors filled with hooligans who want to overtake you?  My top tip in this case is to create a safe zone behind me by driving within a car length of the car in front.  
  • Finally you arrive at the site.  Enjoy your holiday!