Stay Safe On The Roads This Easter

10 Apr 2017

The Easter Holiday period sees an increase in motorists making longer journeys, visiting family or having a break away. If you’re one of them, a bit of extra planning will help make your trip less stressful and much safer.

Plan Your Route

Know which junctions and road names you’ll be looking out for so you won’t have to make any last minute lane changes or quick turns. Ask a passenger to help navigate if you can. Plan an alternate route in case of road closures and traffic delays. Programme your sat nav before you set off so you won’t need to fiddle with it while you drive. Pack a road atlas in case of technological malfunction. It’s good to avoid peak traffic times, but be aware that driving late at night or early in the morning can mean you will be sleepy and not at your best.

Check Your Vehicle

Regular tyre and light checks should be part of your routine, but are essential before you set off on a long journey. Check the tread and pressure at least a day in advance so you have time to get things adjusted before you leave. Make sure fuel, water, oil and screen wash are topped up, and you have emergency kit such as a warning triangle and first aid kit.

Pack Safely

Don’t over pack your car. Make sure luggage doesn’t go higher than the rear seat backs. Put heavier items at the bottom, put small items in bags, under seats or in door pockets to stop them moving about. Use soft items to wedge between anything loose to stop things shifting. Do use a correctly fitted roof rack or box for extra luggage. Be aware that the extra weight will make your vehicle handle differently, and may need you to adjust your tyre pressure.

Plan For The Worst

Hopefully you won’t break down, but it pays to know what to do. If you’re on the motorway, pull over as far to the left as you can. Get out of the car and stay behind the barriers or up the embankment and to the rear of the vehicle. Don’t put out a warning triangle or try to fix the problem. Use one of the emergency phones situated every mile, and signposted every 100 yards. If you’re not on the motorway, put a warning triangle at least 50 metres behind your car. Only attempt to fix your car if it’s safe to do so. Keep your emergency breakdown contact details somewhere handy. Pack extra food & drinks, warm clothes and waterproofs in case you need to wait for some time. The weather can still be really cold at this time of year, so make sure you’ll be ok if you can’t shelter in the car.

Look After Yourself

Make sure you get plenty of sleep before your journey, and take a proper rest at least every 2 hours. Share the driving if you can. Don’t drink alcohol the night before if you have an early start, and stay hydrated. Fatigue and dehydration can be as dangerous as being over the limit. If you find yourself getting stressed, whether it’s the traffic, navigation issues or your passengers, take a break so you can calm down and focus fully on your driving again.

Drive For The Conditions

Weather can change dramatically at this time of year, and different areas of the country will have a variety of weather conditions. Make sure you know how to handle ice, fog, floods etc, by visiting our advice page. Be aware of changing speed limits, and ease off on your speed if you’re in unfamiliar territory to allow for the unexpected.

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