As we approach Easter, eDriving is providing the following safety tips to help keep drivers and their families safe on the roads.
1. Check your vehicle
Ensure your vehicle is in good condition. Carry out checks including fluid levels, fuel, lights, tyre pressures, tyre condition, brakes, battery and wiper blades. Consult a professional if you’re unsure how to carry out any checks. Pack – or check – your emergency kit (include blankets, water, non-perishable food, car charger for your phone, warning triangle, basic first-aid kit, flashlight).
2. Plan your trip
Avoid peak travel times if you can. In the UK, the lead up to Easter weekend is a busy time on the roads, with Good Friday particularly busy. Check weather forecasts and travel updates before you set out. Put off travelling if weather conditions are bad. Always let someone know your travel plans and estimated time of arrival. More information: eDriving’s Best Practice Guide, Journey Planning.
3. Pack safely
Be careful not to overload your vehicle as this can affect suspension, handling and braking capabilities. Look for maximum weight limits on a sticker inside the driver’s door or in your vehicle owner’s manual. Avoid putting items in – or behind – the driver’s footwell and be aware that small items in the rear footwell could slide forward while your vehicle is in motion.
4. Drive well-rested
Driving while tired affects driving ability in the same way as drinking alcohol; it reduces reaction times and affects concentration and co-ordination. Be sure to have a good night’s sleep before you set off – and take regular breaks from driving – at least 15 minutes every two hours. More information: eDriving’s Best Practice Guide, Fatigue.
5. Plan a distraction-free drive
Pack an assortment of quiet activities (such as books and games consoles – with headphones) to help occupy younger passengers. Explain to family members before you set off that you need to focus on the road to keep everyone safe. Set up technology such as GPS before you travel. Either turn your phone off or on silent before you travel or give it to a family member for them to take care of texts/ calls for you. More information: eDriving’s Best Practice Guide, Distracted Driving.
6. Ensure everyone is buckled up
It’s a basic step, but a life-saving one! Only set off once everyone has fastened their seat belts correctly. Make sure children are seated in appropriate seats – check requirements here.
7. Stick to a safe speed, appropriate to conditions
Always travel at a speed that enables you to stop safely in the distance you can see to be clear. Remember that a three-second following distance is for good conditions only. More information: eDriving’s Best Practice Guide, Speeding.
8. Look out for other road users
When roads are busy there are increased risks from other road users! During peaks times for family travel remember that other drivers might be distracted by their children; they might be under pressure to get to their destination; they might be unfamiliar with the roads they are on. Drive defensively to help keep you and your family away from problems on the road. Defensive driving helps you to anticipate the actions of others, remain alert to everything around you and leave a safety space around your vehicle. More information: eDriving’s Best Practice Guide: Defensive Driving.
9. Put your family’s safety first
Stop off only at service stations or other dedicated rest locations. Plan rest stops in busy/ well-lit areas and remove everything of value from your vehicle as soon as you arrive at your destination. Park in a location that allows you to keep an eye on your car.
10. Drive sober
Drinking and driving does not mix, ever. Keep the “morning after effect” in mind and remember that you could still be impaired even if you feel fine.