Highways England has teamed up with a number of organisations working with drivers to urge people heading off on the great summer getaway to be prepared and to check their vehicles in advance to avoid breaking down.
The joint call to make Friday 19 July ‘check your vehicle day’ comes as part of Highways England’s ongoing safety campaign about motorway driving.
It advises motorists what to do if they break down and reminds them to follow speed limits, to keep left except when overtaking and not to ignore red X signals above closed lanes.
The ‘check your vehicle day’ is being supported by 1992 Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell CBE, in his role as IAM RoadSmart president, the RAC, Michelin UK, Green Flag and Halfords Autocentres.
“Breakdowns are still too common”
Highways England’s head of road safety, Richard Leonard, said: “Breakdowns are still too common.
“We’d urge motorists to check their vehicles on a regular basis and this week is really important because we know that many schools break up for summer and people are setting off on holidays and getaways.
Nigel Mansell added: “As someone who raced in Formula 1 for well over a decade, I know a thing or two about good vehicle preparation – and what this means for getting to your finish line.
“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.
“It should be a weekly task for the driver to make sure all lights are working on his or her car, all glass areas are clean, wipers clear the windscreen properly, tyres at least meet legal requirements and water and oil levels are topped up.”
July and August are the busiest months for breakdowns on motorways and major A-roads with one breakdown reported every two minutes during the final weekend in July and first weekend in August.
Highways England is expecting to respond to an extra 700 breakdowns a week for the next six weeks, taking the average number of motorway breakdowns each week to almost 5,000.
RAC patrol of the year, Ben Aldous, said: “No-one wants a breakdown to ruin the start of their holiday, yet so many of the problems we go out to at this time of year are perfectly preventable if drivers check over their car before they take to the road.
“We urge holidaymakers to take part in this initiative by Highways England and spend just a few minutes checking the basics like oil, coolant and tyres on their cars before they get packed up.
“Doing this could make the difference between a smooth and trouble-free journey, and one plagued by the stress and frustration of being broken-down at the roadside.”
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