Posted in Touring on Dec 19, 2018
Will you be touring Britain, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland? Whether you’re going for a day or two, or for a week or more, a UK road tour is much more than just another holiday. It allows you to pit your skills against hairpin turns, against fickle mountain weather, unpredictable maritime storms, and more. As such, it is vital that you take appropriate safety precautions before you hit the road, as well as throughout the duration of your tour. Not sure what your touring safety checklist should include?
Vehicle Inspection and Tune-up
Before setting out, take your car for a full inspection and tune-up. Your mechanic should give the entire vehicle a look-over, from the tyres to the brakes, the steering system, and everything else. The older your car is, the more important it is that you have this inspection.
Pack an Emergency Bag
Make sure that you have an emergency bag packed. This should include spare clothes, a good coat, food and water, bandages, a poncho or compact umbrella, a torch and spare batteries, and more. Other items worth packing include a spare charger for your mobile phone/battery pack, a blanket, a travel pillow, pen and paper, and the like.
Carry Emergency Gear
In addition to your personal items in your emergency bag, you’ll also want to pack some important emergency gear for help on the road should things go sideways. For instance, you will want to make sure you have several flares, as well as emergency triangles. You should pack a container of engine coolant, battery cables, a tyre pressure gauge, engine oil, and a small toolkit.
Check Your Spare
While your mechanic should go over most of your vehicle, it pays to double check a few things. One of those is your spare tyre. Pop the boot and check not only the condition of the tread, but the air pressure in the tyre. If it is low, top it off.
Bring Your Mobile and Charger (and a Dash Mount)
While mobile phone use on the road is certainly not encouraged, and can lead to accidents and injuries, your mobile device is an invaluable aid. Combined with a dash mount, it allows you to avoid having to buy a GPS. Just download any of the better-rated navigation apps.
Watch for Speed Limit Changes
Speed limit changes can occur quickly and without warning. While Brits in general have a reputation for driving fast, it’s important that you stick to the posted speed limit, particularly in urban areas or around schools.
Prepare for Inclement Weather
Be prepared for inclement weather, particularly in areas with which you’re unfamiliar. This is particularly true for mountain roads, as well as when driving in coastal areas, as weather shifts can happen very quickly.
Be Wary on Country Roads
Finally, be wary on country roads. THINK! reports that 59% of all fatal accidents in the UK occur on country roads, so exercise caution here.
With a bit of care, and common sense, you’ll find that your UK tour is as enjoyable (and safe) as possible.