The RAC has released information to help manage drivers’ expectations and safety this Easter – estimating that the lead up to the Easter holidays will see nearly 21 million leisure trips being taken on UK roads. While many of us consider the long Bank Holiday weekend the Big One, the RAC has confirmed that the chaos actually begins this Friday with ‘the first wave’.
With the roads busier than usual, it’s shocking to learn that only one in five drivers check that their cars are road-ready for the journey – equating to 81% of drivers failing to check vehicles before they go!
Rather than join those stranded in laybys, here are some things you can do to ensure you get to your destination on time and, hopefully, still with a smile on your face.
Quietest times to travel over Easter
Thanks to a recent survey, the RAC has been able to predict the busiest times on UK roads, meaning we can all work towards avoiding them.
The RAC is expecting to see “two big waves of Easter holiday traffic over the next few weeks”, estimating that this weekend will see the first wave once the schools break up, and next weekend will see increased traffic due to those planning their journeys for the long weekend.
- Friday 8th April is the day when many school terms finish with an estimated 5 million trips being taken on British roads before the Easter holiday weekend.
- Saturday 9th April is estimated to be the busiest on the roads, with up to 5.6 million journeys expected.
- Those that are unsure of when they are likely to be travelling will add an additional 5.6 million trips to the weekend between Friday 8th and Sunday 10th April.
- Major roads are predicted to be at their busiest between 10am and 3pm. Head out as early as possible or plan your journey for much later in the day.
Top tips for travelling over Easter
Many of us haven’t been on a long car journey for some time due to the pandemic and various lockdowns, so please do be extra cautious with your vehicle checks, whether you are travelling this weekend, or next.
- Check your tyres, including tread depth (3mm minimum), signs of perishing, and pressure, before you go.
- Check your oil, coolant, and windscreen wash levels and top up if needed.
- Check that your windscreen wipers work effectively and haven’t perished.
- Check all your lights work, from brake lights to fog lights and indicators.
- Fill up with fuel and know you’ll likely use more than anticipated due to stopping and starting in traffic jams – many fuel breakdowns are completely avoidable.
- Ensure your breakdown cover hasn’t lapsed and download the app before you to help the rescue vehicle find you via GPS.
- Take an emergency kit in case you break down or are held up in traffic. Include a spare phone charger, water and pack some snacks!
If it has been some time since you headed out on a long journey, it’s important to also check that your insurance hasn’t lapsed, and whether your cover includes breakdown, so please do call your local A-Plan branch if you are unable to locate your documents. The team will be happy to advise you.