The summer holidays have begun and families will soon be setting off to enjoy a week’s UK holiday break. But before the camping, theme parks and beach picnics can begin you need to get in the car and travel for hours to get there.

That’s when the real fun starts; the kids wiggling out of their seatbelts, bickering and asking “Are we there yet?”

But the journey doesn’t have to be so stressful. Drive & Survive has put together a few tips to help you when travelling on holiday with small children in the car.

Keep them occupied: Bored children tend to make more noise, distracting the driver. Take with you some things to occupy the children such as pencils or books – and electronic games are great if the volume is muted! Petrol stations often supply children’s activity packs for free so when you’re filling up ask if they have any available. Have some easy to play games ready – who’s the first to spot a yellow car?

Breaks: The Department for Transport recommends that drivers take a break every two hours; anything longer and children could become restless.

Strap them in: Children will need to be restrained in a suitable child restraint. More information about child restraints can be found on www.dft.gov.uk.

Safety child door locks: When driving down the motorway, the last thing you need is for your passenger door to fly open. Check your child locks prior to setting off.

Temperatures: Heat in cars can reach incredibly high levels and children have died from heat stroke in hot cars. Try to ensure the kids are kept cool. This will also prevent them from becoming restless and unhappy.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Issued by the IAM Press Office. We have an ISDN line for interviews.

2. The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) directly influences the driving and riding of more than 160,000 road users a year (full members, associates and commercial clients) in the UK and Ireland. Established in 1956, the IAM is today best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving course. The IAM has grown to become the UK’s leading road safety charity, dedicated to raising driving standards, engaging with the road-using public and influencing road safety policy. IAM Fleet, the corporate arm of the IAM, has two subsidiary companies, Drive & Survive and Fleet Ireland. It also operates IAM Pro-Drive.

3. A 2006 report by Brunel University, following an 18 month study, concluded that “advanced driver training produces safer drivers and lower accident involvement”, with measurable improvements in knowledge, skills and attitude. The “Driving Tips” provided by the IAM are part of our broader road safety mission and not intended as a substitute for the advanced driving course.

4. In January 2007, the IAM Motoring Trust was established as the research and advocacy arm of the IAM. The IAM Motoring Trust will undertake research, promote practical policies, act as an advocate for safer roads, safer drivers and safer vehicles and encourage responsible motoring through education and training.