Highways England urge drivers to carry out 'basic checks' before moving their cars
Highways England have issued advice to drivers who may be preparing to move their car for the first time in almost two months.
Under new government guidelines, people can drive to any outdoor spaces "irrespective of distance", as long as they respect social distancing rules when they are there.
Thousands of drivers are expected to take advantage of these rules over the coming days, leading one coastal council to urge people not to visit.
But as many cars have not been moved since lockdown began in March, Highways England are warning drivers to carry out a series of basic checks on their cars before embarking on any long journeys.
Richard Leonard, Highways England Head of Road Safety, said: “We should only be leaving home for the reasons the Government has set out – and we want those journeys to be safe ones.
"If you haven’t driven for a few weeks you might feel a bit strange getting back behind the wheel, and your car will need a few simple checks, like your tyres, oil, water, lights and fuel.
"As our teams have been able to continue working, while following social distancing guidelines, the layout of some roads have slightly changed.
“Everything will not be the same as the last time you were on the road, so please ensure you and your vehicle are prepared.”
The authority said they had seen a drop on traffic of up to 85 per cent at weekends since lockdown came into effect, suggesting many people had been following the rules and avoiding all but essential travel.
But for those considering travelling this weekend, they issued five pieces of advice:
⚫ Check your tyres - Before leaving on a significant journey, check your tyre pressures are suitable for the vehicle and load, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm - the legal limit
⚫ Check engine oil - Use your dipstick to check oil regularly and before any long journey, and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.
⚫ Check water - To ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen
⚫ Check lights - If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, light malfunctions can be a reason for your vehicle to fail its MoT
⚫ Check fuel - Before setting out, check your fuel levels and make sure you have enough to get to your destination