Driver training specialist IAM Drive & Survive is offering weekly motoring tips to drivers from its head of training, Simon Elstow. This week he is advising on staying safe on long journeys.

IAM Drive and Survive

  • Include regular rest stops, and plan your petrol stops in advance – especially if traffic is likely to be heavy. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a traffic queue, with the petrol warning light glowing.
  • Get as much sleep as possible the night before a long journey. If you feel tired, stop. Have a coffee and a 20 minute nap. If there’s a long way to go, stop for a proper sleep.
  • Pack a picnic and avoid motorway service area food prices. You can still use their facilities.
  • Keep kids occupied by inventing games that reward quiet behaviour without needing the driver’s direct involvement.
  • Portable games consoles or in-car DVD players will keep kids occupied for hours. But add some headphones – the soundtracks can be just as distracting as the kids.
  • Share the driving if possible.

Elstow said: “Getting away on holiday can be great fun, but it can also be a very stressful time – especially if you have a whole family to pack. Make sure you prepare yourself, your car and your route, for a trip that has everyone smiling from start to finish.”

To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website,, with traffic updates, weather forecasts, and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.