For many people across the United Kingdom, August Bank Holiday is the last chance to get away before children return to school and many people return to work. This year, with COVID-19 still disrupting many overseas travel plans, the “staycation” is more popular than ever.
Traffic volumes are likely to be higher than usual over the long weekend, as families make the most of the last long weekend of summer.
If you plan to travel over the August Bank Holiday weekend, here are ten tips from eDriving to help keep you and your families safe while on the road and at your final destination:
- Adhere to lockdown regulations, the government’s rules for face coverings, and social distancing guidelines.
- Check your vehicle thoroughly; especially if it hasn’t been used for a while. Checks should include fluid levels, lights, tyre pressures, brakes, battery and wiper blades. If the vehicle hasn’t moved for some time, it’s recommended that you perform a quick check in the wheel wells and engine bay to make sure nothing is/has been nesting!
- Plan your journey in advance, taking hygiene and sanitation factors into account – what do you need to carry with you, e.g. hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes, etc?
- Drive defensively – some drivers may not have been behind the wheel for several weeks, potentially leaving them with “rusty” skills. Many will also be driving in unfamiliar areas. Best Practice Guide: Defensive Driving
- Ensure you’re well-rested before driving. Take at least a 15-minute break for every two hours of driving (more frequently if you feel tired). Best Practice Guide: Fatigue
- Plan ahead to avoid driving distracted. You might be more reliant on your phone since lockdown, so the safest option is to turn it off while driving. If you’re travelling with children, think about how to entertain them quietly during the trip (e.g., books, puzzles, DVD player with headphones, or quiet electronics). Set up your GPS/ sat-nav before setting off. Best Practice Guide: Distracted Driving
- Be aware that this may be the first trip since lockdown for many families, and emotions could be running high! This can affect driver behaviour. Expect to encounter a range of excited/distracted/frustrated drivers.
- Look out for people on foot and on bicycles, and be aware that they may occupy more space than usual as they adhere to social distancing guidance.
- Never drive impaired, whether it be through alcohol, drugs, fatigue or medication.
- Obey traffic rules and remember that if some roads are quieter, that does NOT make it safer or acceptable to drive at unsafe speeds!
Visit eDriving’s COVID-19 Resource Centre for more safety tips and links to best practice advice related to COVID-19 driver safety.