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It's not rained for two days! Surely the time is right to get in your car and start driving until you get to a place nice enough to accommodate a picnic.

It's what we do in the summer.

But long car journeys, whilst romantic, poetic and exciting, are not without their risks.

For this reason, Simon Elstow of road safety champions IAM Drive & Survive has compiled six top tips on how to stay safe on long car journeys.

1. Include regular rest stops, and plan your petrol stops in advance – especially if traffic is likely to be heavy. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a traffic queue, with the petrol warning light glowing.

2. Get as much sleep as possible the night before a long journey. If you feel tired, stop. Have a coffee and a 20 minute nap. If there's a long way to go, stop for a proper sleep.

3. Pack a picnic and avoid motorway service area food prices. You can still use their facilities.

4. Keep kids occupied by inventing games that reward quiet behaviour without needing the driver's direct involvement.

5. Portable games consoles or in-car DVD players will keep kids occupied for hours. But add some headphones – the soundtracks can be just as distracting as the kids.

6. Share the driving if possible.

Simon says: “Getting away on holiday can be great fun, but it can also be a very stressful time – especially if you have a whole family to pack.

“Make sure you prepare yourself, your car and your route, for a trip that has everyone smiling from start to finish.”