Stay safe over bank holiday weekends

JonathanMay 24, 2013

Along with bank holiday weekends comes increased motor traffic. Britons everywhere are hopping in their vehicles and taking to the road, whether they’re going to visit relatives, mates, or simply explore new horizons. Many drivers are unprepared for busy roadways and how to deal with heavy traffic, so GEM Motoring Assist are responding with driving tips to make sure motorists stay safe on bank holiday weekends.

CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, David Williams, said: “We know that lots of people take to the road to make the most of [the] bank holiday weekend but, as everyone has similar ideas, driving can be a lot more stressful than usual.”

Motorists can stay safe by following this simple checklist.

Check the weather

To help ease the stress of long road trips, drivers should start by making necessary preparations. First, road users should check weather forecasts before heading out. For May bank holidays, you can generally expect either rain or shine, but it helps to know in advance exactly what conditions you’ll be facing. Bring sunglasses along to eliminate glare and maximise visibility on those rare, sunny days.

Plan your route

Make sure you know exactly how to get to your destination. Don’t rely on your sat nav to do all the work for you – verify the journey online or via a route-planning service. Double-checking the route can save a lot of confusion later.

Lease a quality vehicle

If your car isn’t up to scratch, consider leasing one instead. Not only will you get quite a lot of use out of it while travelling, but it’ll come in handy for work commutes and general day-to-day use. Choose a fuel efficient model, like the Citroen Ds3 Diesel Hatchback, which gets 76.3 MPG.

Fill the tank

Next, fill up your tank with petrol, especially if you’re going for a long journey. Use to get the best price per litre.

Basic checks

To ensure your car is road-ready, perform a few basic checks. Test tyre pressure, change the oil if necessary and check fluid levels. Make sure lights are working properly.

Make sure you’ve got all the necessities

Bring snacks for the ride, like a packed lunch, crisps or a granola bar. Ensure you’ve got a bottle of water or two, as well. Making sure you’ve got enough to eat and drink will speed along your journey and keep you from getting distracted by a growling stomach.

Time it right

If possible, travel outside peak times to avoid the heaviest traffic. Try to leave as early as possible in the morning, or even head out the night before. Watch out for the M25, M8, M6 and M5 on bank holiday weekends, as they’re particularly busy. Listen to traffic reports on the radio to keep abreast of upcoming jams.

Check your mirrors

GEM’s first tip for bank holiday travel is to be aware and alert of fellow road users, especially in urban areas. Check your rearview and side mirrors before changing lanes. Watch out for not only other drivers, but pedestrians, cyclists and bikers as well.

Stay in the left lane

Practice lane discipline and use the middle and right lanes only when overtaking. Otherwise, you’ll want to stay in the left lane to keep a steady pace. Don’t overtake until you’ve checked all your mirrors along with blind spots.

Maintain a safe distance

Remember the two second rule on the motorway. Always maintain a two second minimum between you and the car in front.

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