Leavers checklist: before you leave
School’s out? Tick. Accommodation? Tick. Friends? Tick. Good times ahead? Tick.
Talking about your leavers trip has made you so excited; you just can’t wait for the week ahead. You swear you’ve gone over everything in your head, but are you missing something?
Just in case, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what to expect on country roads and our checklist to help you get through leavers safely.
1. Plan your route and stops before you leave
You may know your destination, but don’t wing it when it comes to how you’ll get there. Know exactly what roads you’ll be taking and if you need to, plan where you’ll make pit stops for food, fuel, a bathroom break or a rest. Why not stretch your legs at some cool places on the way?
2. Double check your car
The weeks leading up to leavers would be a good time to get your car serviced or just looked over by your mechanic. If you're an RAC member head to your nearest RAC Auto Services you'll also get one free 30 minute fault diagnosis. It is important to check your oil, water, battery, tyre pressure and lights before you leave. Did we mention getting a full tank of petrol too? Make sure that your tyres (and your spare tyre) are in good condition too.
3. Stay sharp
No matter how long or short your trip is, or whether it’s day or night-time, driving requires your full concentration. You need to be alert for wildlife crossing the road, as well the general conditions. Make sure you get plenty of rest the night before you set off. Slow down and stay alert.
4. Drive to the conditions
Country roads can be less finished and more gravelly than city roads, which means that it will take longer for your car to come to a stop. Loose gravel will also make it easier to lose control if you happen to swerve, or if you take a bend. Slowing your speed give you more time to react to something unexpected, and will reduce your risk of an accident.
Road markings in country areas may not be as clear, and there may not be a finished road shoulder to pull over on. If the visibility is low, or if you have to pull over for any reason, make sure that your hazard lights are on. Be courteous and aware of other road users. Always wear your seatbelt.
5. Look after your friends
Trust your judgement – if you see something you don’t think is right, say so. Don’t let your friends take risks when they get behind the wheel, it’s not worth it. If you’re driving, you’re responsible for getting your passengers there and back safely.
6. Pack the essentials
Make sure you have enough money, food, water and a basic first aid kit. You’ll need warm clothes for night time and remember to pack your phone charger. Have copies of your confirmed accommodation printed out, as well as any identification you might need. Even though it’s only for a few days, it will feel like much longer if you don’t have what you need. We've made a downloadable checklist here to make sure you don't forget anything important!