For business drivers still using the roads during lockdown, it’s important to be aware of the potential changes and hazards they can now expect to encounter. As well as following government guidelines on social distancing and face masks, below are some of our top tips for driving during the lockdown.
What changed last time?
During the spring, COVID-19 sparked far-reaching changes to road use, affecting traffic levels, the environment, drivers and their vehicles. As we head into another UK lockdown, it’s worth taking a look back at how it affected our roads in the spring:
- There was a 73% reduction in road usage
- The amount of particle pollution dropped by 50%
- Over one million vehicles had their MOTs extended
While there’s no guarantee that this lockdown will have nearly the same impact on our roads, it’s worth reminding drivers that such a dramatic shift in everyday life means day-to-day driving may need to be approached differently.
Tips for lockdown driving
- Watch your speed. Lower traffic levels will undoubtedly mean roads are emptier than before, but don’t be tempted to exceed the speed limit and drive dangerously. Last lockdown, motorists were speeding three times more frequently compared to normal, so keeping your own speed low not only helps to keep you and other road users safe, but also helps you to better deal with hazardous situations caused by those who do break the law.
- Don’t become complacent. Business drivers may become complacent on long journeys or familiar routes, believing that they know what lies ahead. However, the roads are constantly changing and require our full concentration as hazardous situations can develop quickly and unpredictably, even on familiar roads. This is especially true during lockdown as the amount and type of road users changes significantly.
- Be mindful of the time of year. As we head into autumn it’s worth thinking about changing your driving style to match the season. Slippery road conditions, low sun and colder weather means that extra caution should be taken during this lockdown. Read our full autumn driving tips here.
- Watch for vulnerable road users. With reports of cycling increasing by as much as 300% during the last lockdown, drivers need to be aware of the potential increase in cyclists and other vulnerable road users on the roads and match their driving style accordingly. If you’re a fleet manager and would like to remind your drivers of the best way to deal with vulnerable roads users, click here to view our fleet safety posters.
- Don’t drive tired. With clocks recently changing and the days drawing in, it’s important to remember not to drive tired this lockdown. Avoiding fatigue can be achieved in many different ways, but spotting the signs of fatigue (impaired decision-making and judgement, headaches and moodiness, such as irritability) is a good first step to conquering the issue.
- Check your vehicle. Regular vehicle checks should form part of a robust fleet policy and business drivers need to make sure they’re performing vital checks as we head into the next lockdown. It’s worth remembering that garages and MOT test centres are still open, so if you do spot something that needs fixing, be sure to take it to an expert.
Keeping these driving tips in mind for will help to ensure the safety of you and other road users during all this new month-long lockdown. While businesses may see a reduction in the amount of company car and grey fleet mileage, many business drivers will still be out on the roads and should take care as the driving landscape once again takes a dramatic shift from the norm.