23rd September 2019

Stay Safe over the Summer

Somerset County Council’s road safety team have some words of advice for anyone hitting the roads this summer.

Whether you’re heading to a festival with friends, or a week or two by the sea with the family the Road Safety team have a few top tips to help ensure you reach your destination safely.

First, check your vehicle is safe to drive/ride. Doing a quick FLOWERS check on a regular basis can help to spot minor problems before they become major ones:

  • Fuel – Check you have enough for your journey
  • Lights – Check the lights are clean and the bulbs are all working
  • Oil – Check the oil to make sure it’s at the correct level
  • Water – Check the coolant and windscreen washer levels
  • Electrics – Check the battery is in good condition
  • Rubber – Check the tyres for signs of wear, check that the tread depths are above the legal minimum requirement of 1.6mm (it is advisable to replace a tyre if the tread depth is less than 3mm), and check that the tyre pressures are correct
  • Self – Are YOU fit to drive?

While you’re making sure the vehicle is fit for the road it’s worth ensuring the driver is too. Stay well hydrated especially if the weather is hot, plan regular breaks into your route to avoid driver fatigue (a minimum 20-minute break for every 2 hours driving/riding), and avoid drinking any alcohol the night before setting off.

It’s important not to overload the vehicle; when fully laden a car may handle dramatically differently than it usually would and have far longer stopping distances. Higher tyre pressure is recommended also.

It’s also a good idea to follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter; they have all the latest traffic information from across the county, so you know what to expect before you set off.

If you’re planning on travelling abroad make sure you perform all these checks before crossing the channel. More detailed information on driving abroad can be found on the following websites:

www.theaa.com/european-breakdown-cover/driving-in-europe/country-by-country

www.rac.co.uk/drive/travel/driving-abroad/

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said: “If you’re going away for the summer please follow the simple advice from the council’s road safety team. We all want to enjoy some well-earned time off and keep our loved ones safe at the same time and these top tips can help ensure that happens.”