Make sure your holiday gets off to a flying start, even if it’s a staycation

1 Aug 2018

Get your summer holiday off to a flying start with some helpful tips from Somerset County Council’s road safety team.

Over 50 per cent of Britons are planning on having a ‘staycation’ and holidaying within the UK over the summer. Holiday journeys are generally much longer than typical day to day trips but with a little pre-planning you can make sure they are just as safe.

A planned journey is a safer journey. Avoid distractions while driving by programming the sat-nav before setting off and pull over somewhere safe to make any route changes. It’s also a good idea to keep a road map in the vehicle in case of technical issues and follow Travel Somerset for the latest road updates: www.travelsomerset.co.uk

Make sure the vehicle is safe and legal to drive/ride by doing a few simple maintenance checks before setting off. Think FLOWERS:

F (Fuel): Ensure there is enough for the journey.
L (Lights): Clean all the lights and ensure they are working properly.
O (Oil): Check the oil level.
W (Water): Check the coolant level and top up the windscreen washer fluid.
E (Electrics): Problems with the battery are one of the most common reasons for a breakdown so ensure it’s in good working order.
R (Rubber): Check tyres to ensure they have the correct pressures, tread depths and for signs of wear and tear. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm but we recommend getting tyres changed at a minimum tread depth of 3mm.
S (Self): Ask yourself: ‘Am I fit to drive?’ Illness, fatigue, alcohol, illegal drugs and legal medications can all affect your ability to drive safely.

Don’t overload the vehicle and make sure everything is packed securely. Heavy loads can affect steering and braking while unsecured objects shifting around while travelling can cause distractions and the vehicle to handle erratically.

If you are planning on driving/riding abroad make sure you’re aware of the road laws of the countries you’re planning on visiting. The AA has a helpful country by country guide to local rules of the road: www.theaa.com/european-breakdown-cover/driving-in-europe/country-by-country

And make sure the driver is fit and ready to drive a long distance. Long journeys, especially on motorways, can lead to driver fatigue, which affects concentration and reaction times. A rest break of at least 20 minutes for every two hours driving is recommended and remember to stay hydrated.

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