Top Tips To Keep You On The Road
On A Long Drive
With the extended Easter weekend and two bank holidays coming-up this month, are you planning a getaway by car? If so, a long bank holiday weekend journey can take its toll even on experienced drivers, and a breakdown or traffic jam will only add to it. To avoid some of the stress of a long journey, think before you head out to help stay on the road if you are planning a long drive this Easter to visit friends or family.
Before you get out on the big, open road it helps to have your journey planned and to be fully-prepared, take into consideration simple things such as the time of day you plan to travel, any roadworks which are scheduled to take place and plan into your journey regular rest breaks to ensure you remain fresh.
The minimum, legal tread depth for tyres in the UK is 1.6mm, and penalties for failing to keep to this are severe, however, many motoring organisations recommend drivers maintain a depth of around 3mm. It is important to keep an eye on tread depths as worn tyres can greatly increase the risk of aquaplaning in wet, slippery conditions, reduce stopping distances, and can generally affect the handling of a vehicle.
As well as the tyre treads, it is important to carry out all-round tyre checks, if the pressure is not right, you run the risk of steering and braking difficulties. Tyres which are under-inflated will typically wear out faster, costing you money and inconvenience. Remember ahead of your drive to check your spare wheel and that you have your jacking tools should you need to change a flat tyre when you are out and about.
Fit For Purpose
Beyond the tyres, is your vehicle fit for purpose? Pop your bonnet up and check your water, coolant and oil levels to prevent your vehicle from overheating and any preventable engine failure. As well as under the bonnet, check your windscreen wash levels, and check your windscreen wiper blades to make sure they are fit for purpose – remember, your vehicle’s lights too to ensure you meet legal requirements.
Pack It Right
As simple as it sounds it can be overlooked, ahead of your journey, pack your vehicle right. Packing it right means loading the car in a way which evens-out your load, and avoid loose items rattling around which in the event of stopping briskly can be dangerous projectile objects. When stowing in the boot, make sure that you allow for easy access to your spare wheel in case you need to make a change.
For many years drivers have been given the warning that tiredness kills, and lack of
rest is proven to be a serious danger to road users. Whatever activity we do, our concentration levels are impacted by fatigue, it is important therefore for drivers to
take regular breaks, and where possible share the driving. When it comes to rest
breaks, use the rule, for each two hours of driving take a 15-minute break.