WITH an end to lockdown restrictions finally in sight road safety experts are urging drivers to make sure they are ready to return to the roads.
GEM Motoring Assist has compiled a list to help drivers stay safe and ensure their cars are in a roadworthy condition.
Neil Worth, the safety group's chief executive, said: "Many people will have reduced or even stopped their road journeys altogether since the most recent lockdown was introduced.
"Now, as restrictions ease and the roads become busier, we encourage drivers to consider their own safety, as well as carry out some basic checks on the car they will be driving - to ensure it's in the best possible shape."
GEM has compiled some simple tips for driver safety:
1. Always wear a seatbelt, even on the shortest journeys. And ensure everyone in the car with you wears a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of death by 45 per cent for drivers and front seat occupants, and reduces the risk of serious injury by 50 per cent.
2. Make a point of always knowing the speed limits, and sticking to them. Inappropriate speed accounts for nearly a quarter of collisions which result in death.
3. Get an eye test. Good eyesight is essential for safe driving, so if you haven't had your eyes checked in the past 12 months, make a point of booking a professional vision test.
4. Stay alert, throughout your journey. Banish dangerous distractions such as mobile phones, and ensure you take regular breaks on long journeys.
5. Spare a thought for others: be courteous and hold back if it might help another driver, a cyclist, pedestrian or other road user. And if your good turn isn't acknowledged, don't bear a grudge.
6. Look after your car by checking your oil and screenwash levels. Check your lights are all clean and working. Check the dashboard. If any warning lights stay on, make sure you know what they mean and take the appropriate corrective action - which could mean not driving the car at all.
7. Check tyres for tread and pressure. Also, if you haven't driven for a while, examine the tyre walls to check for any strange lumps or bulges. Anything that doesn't look right should be checked by a garage as soon as possible.
GEM is also reminding drivers of some key dates and facts in the government's recently-published calendar relating to the lifting of restrictions.
There is no MOT ‘holiday' in place. Garages are permitted to operate, so if your vehicle's MOT is due, you must ensure you get it done.
If your licence expired between February 1 and December 31 2020 then you benefit from an automatic 11-month extension. Any licence expiring after January 1 2021 needs to be renewed as normal.
Currently, under ‘stay at home' rules, supervising a learner driver is only permitted if it's an essential journey. Driving lessons are expected to start again on Monday April 12, with the first driving tests available from Thursday April 22.