The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has released 5 safe summer driving tips for Brits heading off on long journeys to their holiday destinations – many of which will be on unfamiliar roads.

The 5 tips for safer summer driving are as follows:

1. Before setting off, ensure that you have enough fuel; switch off your mobile phone and make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing for driving.

2. Stay alert by taking a break of about 15 minutes every two hours at somewhere suitable, such as a service area; get a good night’s sleep before embarking long journeys and avoid driving between midnight and 6 am when natural alertness is at a minimum.

3. The driver is responsible for ensuring that passengers under 14 are properly restrained in a seatbelt; if you are taking the family pet on holiday, don’t forget to ensure it is secured for its own and your safety.

4. If you are towing a caravan for the first time in a number of years then make sure you are familiar with the relevant changes that have taken place before getting in the driver’s seat; anyone who is unsure of the rules which apply to those towing caravans should check the Directgov website for further information.

5. Sat-navs are a useful tool but they are not a substitute for route planning; drivers should be aware of road signs, exercise common sense and use the sat-nav’s estimated time of arrival as a guide, rather than trying to achieve it or better it.

Commenting on the driving tips, the DSA’s Chief Driving Examiner, Trevor Wedge, said: “We all want to enjoy the summer holidays from the moment we leave the house. So, if you have a long drive ahead of you then have a look at our tips for safe summer driving to help get your holiday off to the best possible start”.

Last year 661 people were killed in road crashes between July and September with another 6,704 seriously injured.