With this weekend's Easter break presenting millions of people across the UK with their first chance of the year to get away for a holiday, the UK's roads are expected to be busy over the next few days – the AA says 47 per cent of all people will be hitting the roads over this weekend for an Easter trip. However, drivers will need to take extra care, with cold weather forecast for the long weekend.
The Met Office has warned drivers that they need to expect high winds and potentially snow across the Easter weekend, so it is important that anyone heading off on holiday is remaining extra vigilant to ensure they stay safe.
So what should you do to make sure you remain safe across the Easter weekend?
Plan ahead: If you are going on holiday, the likelihood is that you will be driving to somewhere that you are not au fait with, so make sure you know your route. When the weather is bad, you don't want to be losing your concentration to try to follow a map or search for directions.
Give yourself extra time: With millions heading off over the weekend, the roads are going to be busy, and with conditions expected to be challenging, drivers are facing potentially difficult conditions as it is. Whether you are heading to an airport or driving to your destination, give yourself a little extra time to ensure you don't need to rush around.
Prepare the car: When you're going on holiday, the car is going to be more heavily laden than normal, and you need to make sure it is prepared for the strain of all the family and your luggage. One of the most important things to remember is that your tyre pressure will be different. Check your car's handbook to make sure you have properly inflated the tyres for taking to the roads with a full load.
Respect the conditions: Much of the UK has been hit by high winds of up to 70mph this week, as well as experiencing heavy rainfall. This is expected to continue into the weekend, so make sure you respect the conditions. In high winds, leave extra space for cars in front in case they need to take action, and always make sure you are being vigilant and holding the wheel securely. A gust can come out of anywhere and knock you off course easily.
Clock changes: Remember that the clocks changed last weekend, giving you an hour less of daylight in the evening than you will have experienced this time last week. So remember to make sure if you are driving in the early evening (it will get dark at around 7pm) to ensure that you are using your lights when the sun starts to go down. If you haven't done so, it's also worth checking that your lights are in good working order by turning them on and walking around the car. If any are out, have the bulbs changed before you embark.
Regulations: While the majority of people will be driving in the UK, others will be taking the chance to get a little trip to the continent over the long weekend. If this is something you are planning, it's important to remember that there are regulations overseas that are different to those at home, and it's worth checking these before you head off.
Just a few examples include the fact that you need to have a warning triangle, breathalyser and high-vis vest in the car at all times when in France, while those driving in Spain need to have two warning triangles that should be placed in front of and behind the car in the event of a breakdown.
Other checks: Before driving any sort of long distance, you need to make sure that your car is functioning safely. One of the best ways to do this before you head off on an Easter trip is to bring your car into an ATS service centre for our 20 point spring vehicle inspection. We are offering customers a check for just £20, and our experienced team will give your car a thorough inspection, before giving you impartial advice.
The spring vehicle inspection will see your tyres, air-con, brakes, lights, battery, wipers, oil level and other fluids all checked, as well as looking at a range of other vital factors that will make sure your car runs as smoothly as possible when you are heading off for a trip this weekend. Best of all you can book the check online at a time that's convenient for you.
Posted by Danielle Barge