As Lockdown eases, many of us will be taking to the roads. If you and your vehicle haven’t been out and about for a while here are a few handy tips before you set off again.
Firstly, is your vehicle roadworthy after Lockdown? The best way to find out is to get it checked and a good way to do this is to have an MOT carried out.
You can get an MOT during COVID-19 Lockdown but the Government has put a 6-month exemption in place for vehicles that need an MOT from 30th March 2020. There are very clear guidelines on this and you must ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy during this time. Remember that if you drive a vehicle in a dangerous condition you may face a fine of £2,500 and be banned from driving.
Be aware of the risks around you. Roads that have been empty for months are suddenly busy again. Use your mirrors and check for other vehicles, motorbikes, cycles and pedestrians. A recent Department for Transport Report states that 42% of accidents reported to the police are caused by drivers failing to look.
Getting out of a car can be dangerous. Try the Dutch Reach – a safer way of exiting a vehicle: Use your hand furthest away from the door to open it and as you turn, look for oncoming cycles and traffic as well as using the side mirror.
CAR PARK BUMPS
Reversing a little rusty? Pulled in to park too sharply? If you do accidently hit another vehicle in a car park, be a good driver and leave a note with your contact details. You’d hate it to happen to you.
Feeling Lockdown lethargy? Don’t get into your vehicle if you are tired or drowsy. Studies suggest that tiredness contributes to 20% of all crashes. Keep a bottle of water in the car and glucose tablets for a quick pick-me-up, but most important of all – don’t get behind the wheel if you are weary, drowsy, under the influence of any medication that affects your concentration or any alcohol levels in your blood. Your reaction times will be slower and you are putting your own life and that of others at risk.
Admit it. Are you still using your phone when you drive? Do you glance at the screen when a text comes in? Do you forget to go hands-free when you get in your vehicle? Checking a notification may seem like an innocent thing to do but it only takes a split second for something to happen when you are driving. Road conditions alter in moments and you need to be alert at all times. So even if you think its ok, please try not to be distracted by music, passengers (especially children), checking a map or even applying make-up. Leave the lipstick off when you are behind that wheel.
This is a whole new ball game – totally different to driving during the day and accidents at night are frequent. Remember that night-driving means your vision is reduced, hazards are more difficult to spot especially where roads are dark and there’s no street lighting. Don’t ignore the speed limits because the roads are clear, the faster you drive the less reaction time you have. Speed is a killer, causing hundreds of deaths in the UK each year.
Most importantly, enjoy your driving.
Remember that here at A1 Clutches all our branches are open. We are The Midlands #1 clutch and gearbox installers and our friendly staff are waiting to take your call. From all the team at #A1Clutches we wish you and your family safe and happy motoring.