IAM releases advice on driving in tunnels

To avoid drivers getting in danger, IAM has released advice on safe driving in tunnels.

To ensure that people can improve their safety when driving in tunnels, the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) has released advice on how to avoid danger.

Chief examiner for IAM Peter Rodger published the guide, noting that a number of people had previously been injured or killed because they were unaware of how to deal with danger while in a tunnel.

He said: "Tunnels can present serious problems for drivers. For example, vehicle fires in Europe’s Mont Blanc and Gotthard tunnels have claimed 50 lives between them. Many died because they wrongly believed they should wait in their vehicles for help, rather than getting out of the tunnel as soon as possible.

"Regardless of the length of the tunnel, an accident in one will present unique problems and knowing what to do is essential."

In the event of a fire in a tunnel, heat can build up very quickly and the smoke is toxic. As a result, tunnel operators must have seamless plans for how to react in an emergency. Ventilation systems and emergency exits must be present in the tunnel and emergency services must be summoned immediately.

IAM advised drivers not to try to extinguish fires in tunnels unless someone is in danger. Rather than waiting for instructions, they are also advised to leave the tunnel as quickly as possible. If need be, they are told to leave their vehicles behind.

To minimise the chances of an accident in a tunnel, drivers should check their fuel gauge before they enter, turn on traffic information stations to make sure there is no danger ahead and remove their sunglasses to maximise visibility.

When in the tunnel, drivers should switch on their dipped headlights and keep an eye out for any emergency exits in case they need to use them. They should also leave enough space between their car and the vehicle in front and watch out for their brake lights.

  • On: 25 January 2014
  • By: CarShop

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