Planning ahead for summer motorists

11th July, 2012

With holidays fast approaching and schools breaking up for the summer break later this month, the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia is reminding motorists in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire to be prepared for any long journeys ahead.

The Partnership is urging drivers to plan ahead and prepare their vehicle ready for the summer break. The weather may not seem like summer so far, but the school summer holidays normally mark the start of the great British getaway where families make longer trips to holiday in this country or take their vehicle abroad.

Motorists planning to use their vehicles over the summer break should make sure their service is up to date, checking tyre pressures and oil and water levels and top these up if needed. Think ahead and plan for potential traffic jams and suitable places to stop for a break. Just in case you break down, it's a good idea to carry a mobile phone, warning triangle or flashing light, jump leads, a torch, a warm jacket and membership details for your breakdown and recovery service.

If you are planning to tow a caravan make sure your car and caravan are fit to tow. Caravans may have been standing for a period of time over the winter months so it’s important to do a basic safety check. Before you set off, check:

  • The lights work properly and aren’t damaged
  • The tyre pressure is correct and all the tyres are in good condition (they can quickly deteriorate)
  • The coupling is secure, level and at the right height
  • The caravan is attached securely to the vehicle and that weight is distributed and if your caravan is wider than the rear of the towing vehicle towing mirrors must be fitted

Remember that the extra load will affect your braking distance and that if towing a caravan the maximum speed limit is 60mph on dual carriageways and the motorway.

Vicki Bristow from the Safer Roads Partnership comments: “When people are planning for their holidays we’re reminding them to not forget about a few basic checks they can make on their vehicles to ensure they have an enjoyable journey”