29th November 2020

Top travel tips to steer you safely away from bank holiday road misery

Travelling on the nation’s roads during a bank holiday is at best stressful – at worst deadly.

So Somerset County Council’s road safety team have put together some helpful tips to help you reach your destination safely.


  • Check out the route – you won’t be distracted and make mistakes.
  • Programme the sat-nav before you go and make sure it’s correct.
  • Plan an alternative route in case of closures/delays.
  • Take a road map as a fall-back.
  • Follow Travel Somerset for the latest updates.


  • Check the tyre pressure and tread depth.
  • Make sure your lights are working.
  • Ensure fuel, water, oil and screen wash are topped up.
  • Make a visual vehicle inspection to check for any other obvious issues.
  • Carry an emergency kit: First aid kit, warning triangle and hi-vis vest.


  • Don’t overload your vehicle.
  • Never pack any higher than the rear of the seat backs – you risk injury from items being thrown forward.
  • Put heavier items at the bottom; smaller items in bags, under seats or in door pockets.
  • Use a correctly fitted roof rack/ box for extra luggage.
  • Be aware the extra weight means your vehicle will handle differently and you’ll need to adjust your tyre pressure.

Look after yourself:

  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Don’t drink alcohol the night before – especially if it’s an early start.
  • Hydrate; dehydrated drivers can make as many errors as drunk ones!
  • Take regular rest breaks (we recommend a minimum 20 minute break for every 2 hours driving).

Breakdown on the motorway:

  • Pull over on to the hard shoulder or as far to the left as you can.
  • Get out of the car by the doors on the left-hand side of your vehicle.
  • Stay behind the barriers, up the embankment and to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Except in emergency situations pets should be left in the vehicle.
  • Don’t put out a warning triangle or try to fix the issue yourself.
  • Use one of the emergency phones situated every mile along the carriageway to request assistance.

And off the motorway:

  • If it’s safe place a warning triangle at least 50 metres behind the vehicle.
  • Only attempt to fix your vehicle if it’s safe.
  • Keep emergency breakdown contact details somewhere handy.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “If you’re travelling by car this weekend follow our road safety team advice and have a great bank holiday wherever you spend it.”

For more information and advice on road safety visit: www.somersetroadsafety.org