Drivers are urged to make Friday 19 July “check your vehicle day” in a bid to keep the roads moving during the busy summer months.

With more breakdowns on motorways and major A-roads in July and August than any other month, Highways England has teamed up with other organisations to call on drivers to check their vehicles in advance to avoid breaking down.

Richard Leonard, Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, said: “Breakdowns are still too common. We’d urge motorists to check their vehicles on a regular basis and this week is really important because we know that many schools break up for summer and people are setting off on holidays and getaways.”

Highways England is expecting to respond to an extra 700 breakdowns a week for the next six weeks, taking the average number of motorway breakdowns each week to almost 5,000. It recommends drivers make the following checks:

  • Tyres: prior to setting off on a long/significant journey, check your tyre pressures are suitable for the load and the condition of your tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit
  • Engine oil: use your dipstick to check oil regularly and before any long journey, and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual
  • Water: to ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen
  • Lights: if your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk.
  • Fuel: before setting out, check your fuel levels and make sure you have enough to get to your destination

The “check your vehicle day” is supported by Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell, in his role as IAM RoadSmart President, the RAC, Michelin UK, Green Flag and Halfords Autocentres.