In anticipation of increasing numbers of vehicles returning to the roads following the announcement on easing of the Movement Order Control (MCO) restrictions, this article offers a few tips on road safety and related motoring advice.
With an unknown increase in volume of traffic likely over the coming weeks, road users should prepare themselves properly before they start their journeys.
Before you begin driving
Firstly, it is advisable to check road tax and insurance validity, as these can easily be forgotten. While there is an exemption, there is no relaxation in the law.
Another anticipated challenge is facing up to the possibility that their road skills have not been used as regularly or for as long, which may mean they need to give themselves time to readjust to being out on the roads. Equally, they will be sharing the roads with many people in the same position and they should be prepared for any journey with extra patience. That is especially true should they feel the temptation to speed, which has been a rising issue during the MCO.
The vehicles themselves should also be thoroughly checked before setting off. Fuel and oil levels should be appropriate for the journey ahead.
It is the motorists’ responsibility to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy, however, many are not currently checking their vehicles regularly. Instead, many rely on professionals to carry out maintenance checks at annual inspections, such as when they submit their vehicle for a service. Do remember that there’s legal expectation on whether the vehicle is fit for use.
The importance of checking the vehicle is in roadworthy condition is particularly important now as many vehicles have been dormant during MCO. Vehicles are best maintained through usage and some aspects of their condition deteriorate more quickly when left parked or used sparingly for many weeks or months. Tyres will lose their air pressure over time and harden when they are not used regularly, which can lead to sidewall cracking – a serious safety issue. A ‘flat spot’, where the tyre’s tread has been flattened due to the weight of a vehicle and/or load bearing down on it for an extended period of time, is also possible.