For many, a long haul journey in a lorry will often be something that they are used to as that is the business they are working in. But what happens if it is a one-off journey for you in terms of work? Well, the best thing to do it make sure that you are properly informed of all the driving laws in all the countries that you will be driving in.
The most obvious but most common mistake is remembering to drive on the right side of the road. This may sound silly but it does happen, especially if it has taken a long time to get to another country. Also, make sure you have plenty of change for toll roads so you aren’t caught out.
When driving in France it is a legal requirement to have a breathalyser within your vehicle, make sure you have researched which one is sufficient and again, make sure you are prepared and not caught out.
Once abroad it may be tempting to break some speed limits but do remember the fines are sometimes much bigger in mainland Europe and can be required to be paid on the spot. Be aware of the speed limits and know your conversions from miles to kilometres. Ignorance is not acceptable and if you are not sure, slower is better than faster.
Also, make sure that you have proper van insurance to cover you for driving abroad. If you have an accident or your vehicle is stolen abroad, you may not be covered automatically so make sure you have researched this fully before you set off. Another great addition is roadside assistance. It can often be difficult to find help if you don’t know the language so having precautions in place will make life a little easier.
It is essential that you are 100% alert when driving at all times anyway but even more so when driving abroad if you aren’t familiar with the area and regulations. Take regular breaks at service stops and have a sleep to ensure you are completely ready for the rest of the journey. Also, ensure you have had plenty of water and that you don’t become overheated. These factors could make you feel tired and lose concentration.
Overall make sure you are fully aware of the rules and regulations for the countries you are driving in as ignorance is not an excuse.