As people slowly make a return to work, many will find themselves using their cars again every day after months of only using it infrequently.
While it may be easy to assume that to an experienced driver, the physical ability to drive comes naturally, confidence and observational skills are just as crucial for road safety.
Whatever your age or experience, the thought of getting back behind the wheel can be daunting if you’ve not driven for a while, so we’ve put together some tips for returning drivers to ensure that you feel comfortable in your car again.
Make Sure the Vehicle is Safe
Although it is unlikely that your car will have suffered any extensive damage as a result of not being used for a few months, you should still ensure that your car is safe before driving it.
You should make sure, for example, that your road tax and insurance are up to date, your tyres are within regulations and your vehicle has a valid MOT.
If you did make use of 6-month MOT extension whilst your car was not being used, we highly recommend you book your car in for MOT to ensure it is roadworthy and safe to drive.
Get Reacquainted with the Car
Take time to familiarise yourself with the car’s controls, warning lights and dimensions. Check your car’s oil levels, coolant and window washer levels and ensure that you have sufficient fuel for any journey you may be planning.
If you have been off the road for a long period of time, it might even be worth re-reading the Highway Code and checking whether any laws have changed. Many areas now have restrictions due to the level of emissions in some vehicles and so familiarising yourself with both the guidelines and your own vehicle’s emission levels is a valuable exercise.
Take it Slow
Short journeys are a great way to get back into the routine of driving and gives you a chance to check how the car is running before travelling long distances.
If you are driving a longer distance, then plan your journeys in advance and make a note of service stations or places where you can refill fuel. Also don’t forget to take regular breaks (at least 15 minutes every two hours) as fatigue can lead to accidents on the road.
Take a Refresher Course
If you are a new driver, or even if you are an experienced driver but are wary of getting back behind the wheel, it may be beneficial to complete a refresher course. Many driving instructors offer these courses, enabling you to get back into the practise of driving alongside a professional. These courses are great for regaining confidence and ensuring that you feel satisfied with your ability to drive safely.
Need Help with Your Vehicle?
At our Autocare Centre in Chepstow, our team of highly qualified MOT testers can ensure that your vehicle meets the requirements of all road safety and environmental standards.
We also offer an all-encompassing service for a range of vehicles, giving you the confidence you need to get back on the road.
Maybe you’ve noticed that your tyres are in need of repair, or that their pressure is slowly dropping? We offer a practical and cost-effective tyre fitting service which will ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and safe for you to drive in no time.
Similarly, we offer free brake checks for all drivers in the Chepstow, Gloucestershire and Monmouth area and are able to repair and replace brake pads, discs, cylinders etc. Your brakes are a crucial component of driving safely, so make sure to get them checked if your vehicle has been unused for a lengthy period of time.
Questions About Vehicle Safety?
Do not hesitate to contact us on 01291 627137