New students going to university this autumn have plenty to worry about – moves to a different city, meeting new people and taking the next step in their education can all prey on the mind.
If, on top of that, an undergraduate is set to drive regularly for the first time, it can send stress levels through the roof.
However, a series of hints and tips from the Institute of Advanced Motoring means that driving could at least lighten the pressure.
Organised packing can ensure a straightforward journey to your new home.
A checklist helps you keep on top of things and will help make your vehicle clutter-free. Suitcases and zipper bags properly zipped up will also mean that loose items cannot fall out and get lost.
Always keep your eye on the petrol gauge to make sure that you are not in danger of coming to an unceremonious stop. Carrying extra luggage or passengers will mean that fuel is used up much quicker.
Utilising the available room in your car is also important. If you think you will need the back seats to carry luggage, think of whether passengers need the space there as well and plan accordingly. The driver also has to make sure they have enough room to move if necessary without being constrained by tight-fitting suitcases.
Use common sense when it comes to driving in the evening. If you are studying in a new location, use well-lit roads until you become familiar with the area and its surroundings.
It may seem a given for any driver, but do double-check that your headlights are working properly before setting off on any night-time expedition.
Smartphones and tablets can prove invaluable for your learning but could prove to be a safety hazard when you’re behind the wheel.
The best way to avoid temptation is to keep them safely locked away in a bag. Using a mobile phone while on the road is illegal and can lead to car accidents, some fatal, so the simple advice is don’t even think about it.
One of the most basic checks before starting any drive should be that the windscreen wipers are working properly. The weather can turn in an instant and driving in poor conditions can be tricky enough without having reduced visibility.
If the worst comes to the worst and you’re involved in a road accident, the Accident Advice Helpline can sort things out for you. We can organise any injury compensation claim, including those for whiplash injuries.