A guide to driving through tunnels without tears

Driving through an orange-lit tunnel from driver's point of view.

Published 11 March 2022
Last updated 11 March 2022

In this blog we'll explore driving through tunnels. On the way we’ll look at important topics such as staying safe and what to do if there's an emergency.

Hello and welcome to our new blog.

Now, you’re probably looking at the title and thinking: ‘That’s a bit dramatic...tunnels are easy; you just keep going until you get to the other end.’

Well, yes, that’s true. Keeping your vehicle going is, unsurprisingly, part of the deal. But driving through tunnels can cause anxiety in some drivers, so we thought we’d tackle this topic head on with another one of our how-to guides.

How to drive through tunnels safely

On the approach to a tunnel:

  • Make sure you get in lane early
  • Make sure your lights are on. It’s really important to see and be seen – that sunny day won’t make any difference when you’re in a tunnel.
  • Keep an eye out for speed limits, as they might change as you approach a tunnel so stay alert for signs near or on the tunnel entrance
  • Keep the radio tuned to the local traffic news and look for any information signs on the roadside or on gantries. It’s the best way of finding out if there any issues before you enter a tunnel.

When you’re in the tunnel:

  • Keep your distance as this will give you plenty of time to react if there’s a problem up ahead
  • If you’re feeling anxious, remind yourself that driving in the tunnel is only a very small part of your journey. Focus on getting through by visualising your vehicle safely emerging from the other end.

If traffic stops in the tunnel:

  • Leave a safe space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front
  • Stop your engine if congestion brings traffic to a standstill
  • Don’t get out of your car unless it’s an emergency

If you break down in a tunnel:

  • Pull over to the left
  • Switch on your hazard warning lights
  • Stop your engine
  • Use an emergency telephone to call for help

If there’s a fire in the tunnel:

  • Switch on your hazard lights and keep as far back from the source of fire as possible
  • Stop your engine
  • If the fire is out of control, you should exit the tunnel without delay - follow the emergency exit signs
  • Call for help from the nearest emergency exit point

Light at the end of the tunnel

Phew, we made it to the end! If reading this blog has given you an unquenchable thirst to learn more about safe driving, swing by our shop and check out The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills. It’s packed full of tip top advice to help get the most from your driving life.

See you next time!

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