In January 2020, 52 year-old Elaine May pleaded guilty at Peterborough Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving.
She had been driving on the B1040 in Cambridgeshire when she veered onto the opposite side of the road and collided with a silver Honda HR-V which was being driven by 76 year-old Glenis Hughes of Ramsey St Marys. Sadly Ms Hughes later died from her injuries.
In court, evidence was given that Ms May had been driving through France the day before the collision. Between her and her husband, they had been travelling for about 13 hours - although they had shared the driving between them.
On the morning of the collision, Ms May had been driving for 'about 4 hours'.
After pleading guilty, May was jailed for 24 weeks and disqualified from driving for two years.
Speaking as a retired Police Detective, there doesn't seem to be any direct evidence that driving in France was a cause of the accident. It is of course possible that the fatigue that sets in after a lengthy drive back from France was a factor - so it is worth considering your recovery as well as your travelling time.
I have been driving down through France to the Costa Blanca in Spain since 2003 - a journey of about 1,300 miles door-to-door. I have done the journey on my own a few times, but it's much better when you can share the driving. We have found that three-hour shifts work best for us.
Drive for three hours, find a service station to fill up (if necessary) - use their facilities - and then swap so the other person can drive for three hours. You get to really enjoy your rest period, as France passes by your side window - and if you're anything like me your eyes will close for forty winks!
Each three-hour stint sees between 120 and 200 miles knocked off the remaining journey, depending upon the roads you're travelling on and the traffic.
I always plan for an easy day after returning, because for me it takes a couple of nights to properly catch-up.
Follow these tips for driving in France and hopefully we can all do our bit to keep the roads safer for everyone.