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Do your driving guidelines prescribe hot drinks and warn you of the dangers of dairy products?

Excerpts from the UK Highway Code:

From #91 Driving when tired
"the most effective ways to counter sleepiness are to drink, for example, two cups of caffeinated coffee and to take a short nap (at least 15 minutes)"

From #206 Drive slowly and carefully when
"passing parked vehicles, especially ice cream vans; children are more interested in ice cream than traffic and may run into the road unexpectedly".

From #224 Electric vehicles
"Be careful of electric vehicles such as milk floats and trams."

From #228 Driving in icy and adverse weather
"Take an emergency kit of de-icer and ice scraper, torch, warm clothing and boots, first aid kit, jump leads and a shovel, together with a warm drink* and emergency food in case you get stuck or your vehicle breaks down."

* Evidence that these guidelines are only intended for trips of limited duration....



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 13th, 2014 12:18 am (UTC)
Heh. I cannot think of the last time I actually saw a milk float on a British street. (Hint: not the same as an ice cream float.)
Sep. 13th, 2014 08:07 am (UTC)
One comes down our street every morning! At about 5.30am, admittedly.
Sep. 13th, 2014 08:33 am (UTC)
There's regularly one on my street.
Sep. 13th, 2014 01:04 pm (UTC)
One around here too - I sometimes get stuck behind it on the morning nursery run.
Sep. 16th, 2014 07:15 am (UTC)
Clarification for non Brits: milk floats are electrically powered vehicles used to deliver milk to doorsteps daily (paid for at the end of the week; empty milk bottles were collected at the same time as deliveries were made)

Ice cream vans have conventional engines (usually petrol but can be diesel) with refrigeration on board for selling ice creams and ice lollies, and are driven from place to place looking for customers. They traditionally play music from what sounds like an overgrown musical box to draw attention to themselves. Unless you feel like putting ice cream in your tea I would definitely not use "dairy products" to refer to them.
Sep. 13th, 2014 01:17 am (UTC)
I don't know about hot drinks only being for short duration trips; a Thermos flask full of tea has always been an essential part of my mum's in-the-car kit when she is going to be driving for more than an hour, i.e. any time she needs to drive to a town. And tea will remain at least warm in a Thermos for a good few hours.

Her habit of making me up a flask of hot drink for long car journeys also helped one memorable, snowy day when driving from hers down to Glasgow - the windshield de-icer didn't work, we were on the A9 miles from anywhere and my friend had to pull over and use the coffee in the Thermos to clean the slush, salt, grit and general wintry sludge off the windshield. Water would have done the job too, but we were both glad to have a container of hot liquid to hand!
Sep. 13th, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
Very glad you had warm coffee to help!

When I think of a winter car travel kit, I think of the things I might need if I get stuck in a heavy snow drift for 24 hours+. I've never owned a thermos that would keep anything warm for more than several hours.
Sep. 13th, 2014 05:49 am (UTC)
As long as you have a Thermos, the time that a hot drink stays hot for is unlikely to be the limiting factor on the duration of your journey, as you'll have to go to sleep before your tea gets cold.
Sep. 13th, 2014 03:41 pm (UTC)
When I think of a winter car travel kit, I think of the things I'd need in an emergency if I got stuck in a snow drift in heavy snow for 24 hours+.
Sep. 13th, 2014 06:44 am (UTC)
As a UK resident, I wouldn't view any of these as relating only to trips of limited duration: any journey, however long, could end up in an urban environment. There are very few parts of the UK where the last one would apply to short journeys, and the few people who live in these areas know all about this anyway.

As for the hot drinks, this is specifically aimed at long motorway journeys. Service stations (providing shops, food, drink and fuel) are typically about 15 minutes driving time apart, and I have frequently done just this - had a coffee and a snooze when I started to feel tired. Since the biggest causes of accidents are drink driving, use of mobile phone and fatigue, it's a good thing to emphasise and I recently saw an infomercial stressing this in a motorway setting.
Sep. 13th, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC)
The advice for staying awake is good! I don't dispute it. The only thing which really seemed odd, coming from a different head space, is cold weather preparations. For me, being prepared for really bad winter weather = having infrastructure to get by if stuck in a snow drift for 24 hours or more.
Sep. 14th, 2014 09:16 am (UTC)
That's the climatic difference. I'm in my late 60s and I have never, ever been stuck in the snow at all. However, I now live in the foothills of the Pennines, and the passes over them are regularly closed in winter because of snow. Until the motorway was constructed that cut the North West off from the North East for as much as... oh, a few days at a time. Since the vast majority of the population are in the same situation, it's necessary to remind them of precautions on the very rare occasions when they might be affected.

Put it another way: I've never seen snow chains in use and don't know anybody who owns any.
Sep. 13th, 2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
You will note, hon, that non of the native Brits on your flist see any of the above list as remotely strange or noteworthy.

We were once overtaken by a milk float (and a Bobby on a bicycle) while driving up a hill in Salford in a friend's Mum's Morris Traveler. But it was stuffed full of goths and hippies and had a fault with the gear box which meant it never got out of second gear. It also suffered from woodworm and leaked, the owner would wind down the windows at traffic lights to empty a baby potty she kept under the dashboard to collect the rain.

Sep. 13th, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
Individually, they are not strange or noteworthy. It's only collectively that they're a rather interesting bunch.....

You know quite a bit about a vehicle which once overtook you. Do you often?
Sep. 13th, 2014 09:51 pm (UTC)
Laughs, no, the 'it' was the Morris Traveler, not the milk float!

Sep. 13th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
That makes SO much more sense now!
Sep. 14th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
Being overtaken by a milk float is pretty memorable!
Sep. 15th, 2014 08:53 am (UTC)
They're really two bunches, not one.

The fatigue and ice cream van ones refer to hazards that people really ought to be aware of, but accident statistics show that too many are not.

The snow and electric vehicle ones refer to things that most drivers never encounter - snow I've dealt with above; milk floats are a vanishing breed (cheap milk in supermarkets and corner shops have made them unnecessary) but still exist in a few areas; and only a handful of towns have trams. We have them in Manchester, and if it wasn't for the frequent use of horns (a particularly plaintive note) you really wouldn't know they were coming.
Sep. 14th, 2014 06:24 pm (UTC)
You can't drive a thousand miles in any direction without getting very, very wet or having to use a ferry or a tunnel. 'Limited duration' has a different meaning in such circumstances.

I think describing British ice-cream van products as 'dairy' is possibly over-generous. That one is a hangover from days when children were likely to be on the streets without an adult from a very much younger age, but is still valid - it reads as 'any vehicle children are likely to dart out from' to me.

And you've been here long enough to know that a hot drink is an important remedy in almost any situation!
Sep. 15th, 2014 08:55 am (UTC)
Ah, tea, the universal panacaea. Pity I don't like it - though I've drunk a lot when the social situation demands it.
Sep. 15th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
Small children still dart out from behind ice cream vans in the street where my daughter lives!
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )