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Motorists urged to check their vehicles to keep roads safe

Estimated read time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, July 15, 2019

Highways England has called on motorists to make 19 July ‘Check Your Vehicle Day’ to avoid breaking down on their way to their summer holiday destinations.

The organisation has partnered with IAM RoadSmart president and former Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell, the RAC, Michelin UK, Green Flag and Halfords Autocentres to issue the joint call.

It has advised drivers to follow speed limits, keep left except when overtaking and to pay attention to red X signals above closed motorway lanes.

It has been estimated that more than 100 people are killed every year on motorways in road traffic accidents involving vehicles on the hard shoulder.

Holiday journeys

Highways England head of road safety Richard Leonard explained that the call has been issued now as “many schools break up for summer and people are setting off on holidays”.

Nigel Mansell added: “Making sure your car is fully ready for the journey ahead could not only save you and your family a lot of heartache on the way to your destination; but ensure that you, your occupants and other road users are as safe as possible.”

According to Highways England, July and August are the busiest months for breakdowns on motorways and major A-roads. One breakdown is reported every two minutes during the last weekend in July and first weekend in August.

Highways England said it is expecting to respond to an extra 700 breakdowns a week for the next six weeks. This will take the average number of motorway breakdowns each week to almost 5,000.

Make the right checks

The organisation highlighted a number of checks to make before setting off on a journey to make sure your vehicle is safe. These include:

  • Tyres: Before setting off, check your tyre pressures are suitable for the load, as well as the condition of your tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit.
  • Engine oil: Check oil regularly and before any long journey and top up if necessary. You should take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.
  • Water: To make sure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen.
  • Lights: If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you could put yourself at risk as you might not see hazards in the road and might not alert other drivers to your manoeuvres.
  • Fuel: Before heading out, check your fuel levels and make sure you have enough to get to your destination.

A broken down or abandoned vehicle can cause major accidents, particularly on busy high-speed roads.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, First4Lawyers can help you find the legal representation you need to make a compensation claim. To find out more, just give us a call, request a callback or start your claim here.