Stay safe on the roads this Bank Holiday

4 May 2018

Millions of motorists will be taking to the nation’s roads this weekend for the bank holiday and half term break. If you’re one of them, a bit of extra planning will help make your trip less stressful and much safer.

Plan Your Route

A planned journey is a safer journey, if you know which roads and junctions you’re looking out for 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 and pack a road atlas in case of technological malfunction.

Check Your Vehicle

Regular tyre and light checks should be part of your weekly routine, but are essential before you set off on a long journey. Check the tread depth and tyre 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 carry an emergency kit such as a warning triangle, hi-vis vest and first aid kit.

Pack Safely

Don’t overload your vehicle. 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.

Hope For The Best; Plan For The Worst

Hopefully you won’t break down, but it pays to know what to do if it does happen. 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 along the carriageway, 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.

Look After Yourself

Make sure you get plenty of sleep before your journey, and take a proper rest of at least 20 minutes for every 2 hours driving. 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 legal limit to drive. If you find yourself getting stressed, whether due to traffic, navigation issues or your passengers, take a break so you can calm down and focus fully on your driving again.

 

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