As Brits embark on the first school run and, for some, back to work drive of 2019, leading breakdown cover provider Green Flag is urging drivers to check their vehicles before making their journeys, with tens of thousands of breakdowns predicted throughout the day.
Green Flag is expecting an 11.1% increase in incidents on the first Monday after the festive period, with around 28,981 breakdowns and 6,373 flat batteries* set to cause havoc on the roads for motorists.
Simon Henrick, Head of News at Green Flag, commented: “It’s hard enough heading back to routine after the festive period, and the last thing drivers want is to deal with a breakdown on the first Monday of the year.
“We’re encouraging drivers to carry out safety checks before hitting the road, to avoid car faults and breakdowns. The roads are likely to be busier than they have in previous weeks, as everyone gets back to the grind, and with cold weather setting in it’s important to be vigilant and safe on the roads.”
Green Flag has issued some easy and helpful common sense tips to keep in mind ahead of a journey this January:
Walk around the car and look for any signs of potential trouble, especially tyres and lights
Check tyre pressures, spare included
Check all fluid levelsand top up if necessary
Make sure you have breakdown cover. If you’re travelling abroad, make sure your cover extends to your trip away. If it doesn’t, you may need to arrange separate cover
Keep a road map in the car so you’ll be able to explain where you are when you call for help. Don’t rely on the map on your phone – you won’t always have signal
Make sure your phone battery is topped up– think about buying an in-car charger just in case you need it
Have the number for your emergency breakdown provider handy– you’ll usually find it on your policy certificate so you could keep this in the glove box
Carry a red warning triangleat all times
Always keep some water and snacks in the car,in case you get stuck for a long time
Winter Weather Driving Tips
Check your speed and use gentle driver inputs - even if the roads have been gritted they’re likely to be slippery.
Give more warning than usual to other drivers - when turning, stopping or changing lane.
Keep plenty of distance between cars - you never know when you'll hit an icy patch. If you pass the same landmarks as the car in front of you within three seconds, you’re following too closely.
Check whether your car has ABS anti-lock brakes. In the unlikely event that it doesn’t, pump the brake pedal slowly to prevent the wheels locking up and skidding.
Be extra-wary of black ice. It’s an invisible danger that can catch out even the most careful driver.
Approach corners at a steady speed, in as low a gear as possible. Don't touch the clutch unless it’s absolutely necessary, steer smoothly and avoid braking on bends.
Make sure all passengers are wearing seat belts.
Ensure you’re familiar with your car’s ventilation system to prevent windows from steaming up. Air conditioning will keep windows free from mist and condensation.
For more information about how to make sure your car is road ready visit www.greenflag.com