If you’re going on holiday this summer and plan to drive abroad, there is a lot to consider that you might not be used to in order to keep you, your family and your fellow road users safe. Depending on where in the world you might be going, different countries naturally have different road safety standards and legislations. There are many things you will need to consider, but here are some of the main ones:
Potential hazards and dangerous road conditions – While roads in this country are generally pretty well maintained, the same cannot be said for other countries. Be sure to check the general standard of roads in your destination country, and make sure you have everything you need in the event of an accident or breakdown.
Local roads or areas to avoid – Like all places around the world, there a nice bits and not so nice bits, both in terms of personal safety and while driving. Stick to popular main roads and avoid going off the beaten track too much, for your own sake and your car’s. For more detailed information on how to stay safe, have a look at what information ASIRT (Association for Safe International Road Travel) have to offer.
Availability of road side assistance - As is the case with road conditions, in this country we are fortunate to have excellent road side assistance teams dedicated to getting us on the move again. When driving abroad however, the help available to you may not be the same standard or what you might be used to. Be sure to do a bit of research into your country with regards to what help you can get if you find yourself in the midst of a breakdown.
Driving permits – If you are staying in the EU/EEA then your driving licence will be valid. However if you are venturing further afield then you will need to look at getting an IDP (International Drivers Permit). It costs £5.50 and you can buy it from the Post Office. You have to be over 18 and have to have a full driving licence to be able to have an IDP. Although the minimum age for driving a car in the UK is 17, other countries may have their own rules so it's worth checking before booking anything.
Insurance – To drive in another country, you need to make sure your insurance covers you outside the UK. Before leaving, inform your insurer that you’re travelling overseas, and check if your existing policy covers you. Your insurer should automatically extend your cover when you’re driving anywhere in the EU, but this is usually the most basic third-party cover. It usually only covers claims from other drivers, so remember to be extra careful when driving to avoid forking out for repairs.
Make sure you have a BriteAngle LED warning triangle – This may sound like a sales pitch, but it is a legal requirement to carry a warning triangle in over 30 countries worldwide, many of those being in the EU. With this in mind, and that driving abroad is generally more dangerous anyway even with the correct precautions, it makes sense to carry the best warning triangle on the market to ensure the upmost roadside safety to you and your passengers in the event of an accident or breakdown.
Take all these into consideration when driving abroad, and there’s no reason why the travelling can’t be as relaxing as the rest of your adventure.
For more information on how we can help visit our website at www.briteangle.co.uk, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.