Global carbon dioxide emissions that fell by an astounding 6.4% during 2020 alone are testament to one undeniable fact – we were all driving a whole lot less. In fact, with commuting and even general trips largely curtailed by pandemic life, some of us spent most of the last eighteen months only taking our cars out for a spin to keep the life in them.
Now, as the world returns to a tentative new normal and most of us get back on the road, estimates suggest a 24% spike in road traffic fatalities. In large part, this may be due to the reduction of accidents noted throughout the pandemic itself. However, there’s also a fair argument to suggest that out-of-practice drivers are putting themselves and others at higher risk by skipping the following essentials before getting back on the road.
# 1 – All-important car maintenance
Even if you’ve been firing up for a quick run around the block once a week, your out-of-use vehicle is inevitably going to need a little attention before it can safely head out on busy roads. Certainly, cars that have sat largely abandoned for the best part of two years require attention with regards to things like water levels, oil quality, tires, battery life, and more. These are things you probably would’ve been doing anyway, but have likely overlooked because there was really no need. Now, if you want to avoid having to contact a car accident attorney on your first trip back out, it’s essential to either check these things yourself or, more preferably, have an expert do it for you. That way, you’ll be able to stay safe and feel more confident when you get back behind the wheel.
# 2 – Skill refreshers
In many ways, driving a car is like riding a bike – it largely relies on muscle memory. That said, it’s rarely best to let those skills come back to you during a high-stakes trip on a busy road. As such, even if you’ve been driving for a long time, taking some time to get to grips with controls again in a quiet or private area is crucial before hitting the highway. Equally, newer drivers who are less likely to have retained those dormant skills could benefit from signing up for quick refresher courses to ensure utmost safety at all times.
# 3 – Preparing for change
For drivers who have continued to use the roads throughout the pandemic, preparing for change is also essential as millions return to their morning commutes. After all, driving awareness should shift dramatically to account for busier roads and drivers who fail to acknowledge that leave themselves and others at notable risk. Change is also relevant in light of still-changing regulations and local lockdowns that all drivers must pay attention to ensure both road safety and compliance with local laws intended to reduce exposure/circulation of the virus itself.
Driving after a break can feel daunting. Take the edge off by considering these safety essentials before finally breaking out behind the wheel.