Fears over UK holidaymakers driving tired

More than a quarter of motorists who take their vehicle abroad admit to driving for more than five hours in one stint, a new survey suggests.

The RAC poll of 1,010 people indicated that 28% have driven for that long without a stop, while 90% have stayed on the road for more than three hours continuously.

Within the EU, commercial drivers must not drive for more than four-and-a-half hours without a break.

RAC Europe spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Perhaps it’s a desire to get to our holiday destinations as quickly as possible that means we continue to drive on, or maybe we’re not leaving ourselves enough time to reach the French ferry terminals on our journeys home.

“But whatever the reason, driving for so long in one go means we’re severely increasing the risk of causing a collision.

“Taking a proper break is essential. It doesn’t need to be a long one, but having a rest and drinking two cups of caffeinated coffee as recommended in the Highway Code can keep you safe and alert.”

The next two weekends are expected to be the busiest of the summer for drivers heading south through France for the holidays, with widespread queues expected.

Mr Dennis said: “With long traffic jams inevitable, it’s vitally important UK drivers plan but also pace their journeys.

“Worryingly, these new figures show just how few of us are prepared to do that.”

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