What to look out for if you’re starting to drive again

We’re still in this, even if ‘this’ is starting to feel a bit more normal. None of us should be driving as much as we were before COVID-19, unless it’s for work.

That said, we can take a drive to get some exercise, we can visit people (with proper distancing), and we still need to do food shops and everything else we were doing under the first government guidelines.

Before too long, it’s likely you’ll be back in the driving seat after a while away from the road.

Five things to remember as we return to driving

1. Driving is a skill

If you’re excellent at trombone but then you don’t play for a while, it’s going to take some time to get back into it. Driving is a skill like any other.

So, if you’re starting to drive a bit more, be aware you might be a bit rusty.

Everyone else? A bit rusty. It may feel weird to be driving and if you feel weird, other people will too. Go easy.

2. If you’re a new driver, you’ll need some practice

If you passed your driving test right before lockdown, getting back on the road will take a bit more practice. Tempting though it is to jump straight in the car and enjoy a bit more freedom, that could be dangerous.

A couple of drives with a parent, getting the shopping or taking the dog for a walk, will help get your driving skills back to where they were. Just remember: a test pass doesn’t mean you’ve completed the game – it’s an ongoing learning curve.

3. We’re still not back to before

Things have changed a little now, so traffic will be slowly increasing again. But it’s different traffic, with different people in it. People that used public transport before may now be avoiding it, so they’re potentially new to driving.

Everyone’s stressed, everyone’s distracted – so you need to be driving defensively. Defensive driving basically means expecting and preparing for someone to make a mistake at all times, so you can take action to avoid danger.

4. Keep an eye on temptation

Driving is a kind of fun we haven’t had much of recently. After being stuck inside for months, driving anywhere other than Tesco is a lovely treat.

But remember: speed limits still apply. The police have been completely prepared to prosecute speeders as normal, and right now really isn’t a great time to be using up emergency services’ resources.

The weather’s been great, the road are still emptier than usual…that adds up to a dangerous situation. Please, please be wise about speed.

5. Checked your car’s battery any time recently?

Your car sitting unused for long periods won’t be good for its battery. Don’t go out of your way to make unnecessary journeys, but even a short once-a-week drive can help.

If you try to start the car and get nothing, there are a few things you can do. Try Halfords’ expert advice for getting your car going again.

Halfords have some stores open again now and they’re offering a free car check to get you road-ready if you need to drive.

‘Stay alert’ is good advice for driving

Government guidance is to stay alert, and driving is an area where that’s always good advice.

We’re always here if you need help with your insurance, so start a chat if you’re worrying about anything.

Get more advice about driving during COVID-19.


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