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How to drive safely on the wrong side of the road

Sun, sea, sand, and safe driving. Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger.

With the summer holidays fast approaching, this week he advises drivers on the major pitfalls of driving on the continent:

Get used to driving on the right when you arrive by using the motorway, where signs and traffic flow will help you take the right position.

Overtaking will be more difficult in a right-hand-drive car as your view will be blocked. Pull back from the vehicle in front to improve your field of vision.

In some European countries drivers approaching from the right have priority. A yellow diamond sign shows that you are on a road which has right of way over roads joining it. You’ll see them on many main European roads. If the yellow diamond sign is crossed out, you no longer have right of way, so be cautious.

European countries have lower drink drive limits – in France, Spain and Italy the limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, compared to 80mg in the UK. It’s easier not to drink. If you do drink, remember you might still be over the limit the next morning.

Many countries on the continent require you to carry equipment such as warning triangles, reflective jackets and spare bulbs. Check the regulations before you travel and make sure you have the right kit.

Slap on the sun cream. The breeze from an open window or the air-con makes it hard to tell if you’re burning.

Rodger said: “Whether you’re hiring a car, or driving to your destination is part of the holiday, do your homework before you go for a safe and enjoyable journey.”

Peter Rodger is the IAM’s chief examiner The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety. More at IAM

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