As Ireland is set to enter the first phase of the Government’s five-step lockdown exit plan a phased return of outdoor workers (for example: construction workers, gardeners, including people working on allotments) will be allowed. As restrictions ease, how will driving change and what new challenges might road users face?
With lockdown having kept so many people at home over the past few weeks, huge numbers of us have been left not needing to drive since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
If you are getting back behind the wheel for the first time in several weeks, there are some things that you are recommended to check before setting off on your journey.
Given how long it may have been since many drivers last turned the key in their ignition, it is easy to overlook a number of things that may be wrong with your vehicle and there is the possibility that problems may have developed since you last drove.
Here are some things that Waterford Council‘s Road Safety officer says you need to check to make sure your car is still safe and roadworthy and you stay safe.
- First of all do you need to drive ? can you drive part of your journey ? walk or cycle the remainder ?
- Expect to encounter many more cyclists and pedestrians on our streets and roads . ( some pedestrians may step out onto the road way to adhere to social distancing rules) #streets are for people
- Allow extra time for your journey as many road layouts have been changed to facilitate more cyclists and pedestrians.
- Is your car going to start ? the battery may be flat ?
- Check your tyres prior to setting off on a long or significant journey. Check your tyre pressures are suitable for the load and the condition of your tyres, including the spare, and look out for any cuts or wear. Make sure your tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit.
- Check your engine oil and use your dipstick to check the level 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 your water levels to ensure you have good visibility, and always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen
- Check your lights, and if your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, get them fixed.
- Check your fuel levels before setting out and make sure you have enough to get to your destination
- Make sure you haven’t neglected to insure your vehicle or tax it which can be done online.