Drivers Urged to Think Safety as Traffic Increases

May 22, 2020

As more people return to work and the rules for daily travel have relaxed recently there has been an increase in traffic on our roads. It is likely many people will not have driven since the beginning of the lockdown period some months ago and therefore it’s important to feel confident again behind the wheel. The advice is to do a couple of short journeys to get yourself familiar with your vehicle again. It’s surprising how different it can feel behind the wheel when you haven’t driven for a long period.

With the roads being quieter there is the temptation to travel at a faster speed than you would normally. However, the police are currently running a campaign to clamp down on speeding drivers and of course whilst lockdown restrictions may have eased speed speed restrictions remain very much in place.

There are likely to be more cyclists and pedestrians on our streets as the government are encouraging this mode of transport and travel, so please be aware this may be the case. You should anticipate more pedestrians and cyclists than usual, especially at peak times of day. Allow other road users to maintain social distance, where possible. For example, give cyclists space at traffic lights. Public Health England recommends keeping a 2 metre distance from others, where possible.

Safety is paramount, especially if your vehicle hasn’t been used for a long time, you’ll need to check tyre pressures as standing can reduce the pressure considerably.  There is currently an extension in place for car, motorcycle and van MOT’s, but you still have responsibility to keep your vehicle in a safe condition. More information about this can be found at MOT guidance

If you need to share a vehicle with people from other households for essential journeys, such as travelling to the same place of work, try to share the transport with the same people each time and keep to small groups of people at any one time. There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms. If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally live with, your car or van if you are sharing it with others is a good example. Wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by the law. If you choose to wear one, it is important to use face coverings properly to ensure they don’t inhibit your vision whilst driving. And remember to wash your hands before putting them on and after taking them off.

Limit the time you spend at garages, petrol stations and motorway services if you have to travel. Try to keep your distance from other people and if possible pay by contactless. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands when arriving and leaving. Be aware of the surfaces you or others touch. If people from different households use a vehicle (for example through a car share scheme), you should clean it between journeys using gloves and standard cleaning products. Make sure you clean door handles, steering wheel and other areas that people may touch.

Where people from different households need to use a vehicle at the same time, good ventilation (keeping the car windows open) and facing away from each other may help to reduce the risk of transmission. Where possible, consider seating arrangements to optimise distance between people in the vehicle.

If you have to drive, drive safe and stay safe.