Customers that hire a van from Cole Hire can be assured that it will be superbly serviced and maintained and that all the necessary checks such as tyre tread/pressures, oil, batteries and anti-freeze will have been rigorously carried out. At Cole Hire’s rental fleet depot at Osterley, close to London Heathrow airport, our friendly and professional team will also ensure that you are fully familiarised with the vehicle before you set off for your destination.
Knowing that your vehicle is completely fit for purpose is immensely reassuring and there are a number of other actions you can take to make your long distance driving experience as safe, stress-free and pleasurable as possible.
Plan your journey
Whether driving for business or personal reasons, there are likely to be time constraints. It is therefore sensible to allow for plenty of time to reach your destination, taking into account possible points of congestion such as busy towns and also giving yourself time for regular breaks on route.
It is also important to:
Mitigate stress and fatigue
It is important to rid your mind of any stressful preoccupations and, if you are driving with company, avoid arguments or conversations that could take your mind off the road.
Tiredness can be exceptionally hazardous for road safety, and RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) suggests:
On the question of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnoea, RoSPA comments that:
“This type of medical condition is often undiagnosed, and some drivers may be unwilling to seek help because they fear losing their driving licence. However, there are established treatments for sleep apnoea which allow drivers to retain their licence, and therefore, their livelihood. Anyone suspecting that they have a sleep disorder is strongly advised to contact their GP.”<
Avoid taking anything that impairs driving
Don’t get distracted
Use methods to stay focused
If you have a passenger or passengers with you, this can help to alleviate the boredom and stress of a long journey, especially if the driving can be shared. Listening to the radio or singing along to your favourite music can help too.
Take regular breaks
The official advice from the Department of Transport is that drivers should take a 15 minute break every two hours on a long journey. We feel this is especially important when driving on motorways which, let’s face it, can be a tad monotonous. The danger of falling asleep can also increase during the summer months when traffic can be heavier, it is warmer and when drowsiness is brought on by hay fever medication. Most motorway routes have service areas regularly spaced apart where you can park up, have a coffee or something to eat and a comfort break.
Keep your distance
Certain motorways have chevrons marked on the road surface to warn drivers to keep at least the length of two vehicles between them and the vehicle in front. This can be a useful reminder.
Rule 126 of the Highway Code shows a range of typical stopping distances under normal weather conditions.
Highway Code advice continues:
“Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear. You should
If you have to stop in a tunnel, leave at least a 5-metre gap between you and the vehicle in front.”
Have an enjoyable, successful trip and stay safe!
Select vehicle type and time