Study your route in detail, and use the webcams to obtain information about weather conditions and traffic conditions.
Drive when rested and relaxed, drink water to hydrate yourself, and stop frequently (a break every two hours).
Be careful with medication : some types of medication slow your reflexes and cause drowsiness. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about any side effects and in all cases read the leaflet.
Checking your Car
The tyres must be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, usually marked on the edge of the front left-hand door. If your tyres are not cold when the pressure is measured, it is recommended that you add 0.3 bar.
A tyre’s tread depth must not be less than 1.6 mm. Tyres in poor condition reduce a vehicle’s roadholding capacity. Ask your garage to check the wear indicators on each tyre.
A given set of tyres must be of the same brand and have the same wear and pressure for good roadholding.
Any luggage stored on the roof must be firmly lashed and not project beyond the front of the vehicle or more than 3 metres at the back. It is preferable to place the heaviest items in the boot rather than on the roof, and to avoid putting luggage on the rear shelf (in an impact at 60 km per hour, a 1.5-litre bottle of water weighs 60 kg).
Also check your headlights, your windscreen wipers and your oil level.
Before leaving, make sure that your insurance is up to date and note the contact details of your insurance company and your breakdown service company.
When to Leave
Avoid leaving during rush hours. Listen to the Autoroute Info radio on 107.7 MHz (available on line with Webtrafic), look at the information flashes from Bison Futé (French road traffic information service) and do not set out when they say the timeslot is red. Before leaving, consult the map of real time traffic on the motorways and on the webcams.
As soon as the first bad weather arrives and during the winter, if the weather forecast is bad or likely to get significantly worse during the journey, do not hesitate to postpone your departure until the weather improves.
Equipment to Take with You
An accident report sheet, a pen and a few sheets of paper.
A spare wheel in good condition and a jack.
A maintenance-free aerosol fire extinguisher, easily accessible. If your vehicle catches fire, switch off the ignition and evacuate all the passengers.
An waistcoat for night-time and day visibility.
A blanket for warming up an injured person and clean cloths for wiping, bandaging an arm, etc.
A first-aid kit containing compresses, dressings, disinfectant, scissors.
A mobile telephone. Reminder of the emergency numbers: fire service 18, ambulance service 15, police 17, European emergency call 112.
A can of oil.
An anti-freeze washer fluid refill.
A box of spare headlight bulbs.
Bottles of water.