Adapting to life on the roads after Covid19

Driving Down the Road. Road to the Sun. Modern Car Driving.

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Ireland is set to enter the first phase of the Government’s five-step lockdown exit plan on Monday. 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 people have been left not needing to drive since the Coronavirus pandemic took hold.
If getting back behind the wheel for the first time in several weeks, there are a number of recommendations to check before setting off on your journey, advises Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer with the Communications Department of Mayo County Council.

“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, ” he said.

Noel is asking motorists to make sure the car is still safe and roadworthy in order to 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 the streets and roads. (Some pedestrians may step out onto the roadway to adhere to social distancing rules).
  • Allow extra time for your journey as many road layouts have been changed to facilitate more cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Is the car going to start? The battery may be flat? Don’t leave it until Monday morning to check.
  • Check the tyres prior to setting off on a long or significant journey. Check your tyre pressures are suitable for the load and the condition of the tyres, including the spare, and look out for any cuts or wear. Make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit.
    Check your engine oil and use the dipstick to check the level regularly and before any long journey, and top up, if needed. Take the car back to the garage if topping up more than usual
    Check  water levels to ensure there is good all-round visibility, and always keep the screen wash topped up so to clear debris or dirt off the windscreen
    Check the lights, and if the indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, get them fixed.
    Check fuel levels before setting out and make sure there is enough in the tank to get to the destination
    Make sure the vehicle is insured and taxed, which can be done online.