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Beat the Jams

Friday, 25 July 2008

The summer is here and the BBQ''s are in full swing. But all too often we end up swapping the beer garden for traffic jams, enjoying the few hours of English sunshine from the driving seat of our roasting hot cars, whilst sitting in miles of traffic.

Does this have to be the case? The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has put together a list of handy hints to help you beat the jams and get back to enjoying the British summer.

During the summer we take more day trips to the country or sea side, increasing local traffic levels. Allowing a little extra time and planning alternative routes before you set off can really help to reduce traffic jam stress.

Traffic levels tend to be lower in peak hours during summer holidays but higher during the day. Probably because more of us are are off work and travelling to airports, UK holiday destinations and attractions. This extra traffic could lead to accidents and slower moving traffic. It''s always worth checking the websites of The Highways Agency , Traffic Wales and Traffic Scotland before you leave. Listening to traffic radio stations and taking note of road side information signs can also help you avoid joining a five mile long queue.

If an accident does take place, sat navs are great at establishing a new route quickly and relatively stress free, however, they are expensive and not foolproof. Keep a map in the car - that way you''ve got something to fall back on.

To avoid breaking down and being the one who causes the traffic jam, give your car the once over before you set off. Check the tyres, wiper blades and seatbelts and top up the oil, water and brake fluid.

Taking a little time to prepare for extra traffic can go a long way in reducing your journey time, enabling you to get back to enjoying the summer.