Ways to get to your destination safely during strike season

With ongoing strikes among healthcare and emergency services affecting the nation, there has never been a better time to review your driving habits and how to safely conduct yourself on the road

Whether it’s a cheeky acceleration past the local speed limit on a road we know well, or a tendency to find ourselves too close to the car in front on the school run, many of us have picked up habits and behaviours behind the wheel that wouldn’t help us pass a driving test. 

To keep yourself – and your passengers – safe during the strikes, here are our top five top tips for navigating the roads in your lease car.

Observe the speed limit

Our first top tip may not be ground-breaking, but it is essential; an approximate 101,087 traffic incidents were reported in 2021 alone.

As road safety experts have drilled into us from the get-go, in any collision the likelihood of death and serious injury increases along with the speed of your vehicle. 

Yet, Brake, the Road Safety charity, reports that three in four drivers admit to regularly breaking the speed limit – often on more than half of their journeys!

The quickest and easiest way to minimise the risk to yourself (and others) is to pay attention to your speed when you’re on the road, especially when emergency services are on strike.

That 20 mph sign on your daily commute is a legal limit, not a guideline.

Consider the zero-alcohol approach

We love a tipple, so just hear us out on this one!

Although there is a set “safe” legal limit of three units of alcohol for women and four for men, the reality is that any alcohol in your system can impair your judgement and slow your reaction time.

According to Brake, more than 200 people die every year in an alcohol-related motor incidents – which may be why Scotland has already enforced a zero-tolerance approach to drink-driving. With their legal limit lowered to 22ml, the only way to ensure you are not over the limit is not to drink at all before getting behind the wheel.

To lower the risk during strike season, consider adopting this zero-tolerance approach and staying alcohol - free while on the road.

Be aware of and consider other road users

With train and bus strikes set for February, it’s inevitable that you’ll see an increase in traffic on the road as people drive, bike and walk to work.

It’s human nature to feel frustration at the cyclist flagrantly hogging the centre of the lane, or the learner driver who keeps stalling at the busiest junction on our commute. However, keep calm and continue driving with your usual due care and attention until you reach your destination.

Aggressive driving, lane-hogging and failing to give way are all examples of careless driving offences, which can result in a fixed penalty notice for yourself and increased risk to your fellow road-users safety.

A more serious offence will automatically summon you to court and may disqualify you from driving altogether.

Plan your journey ahead of time

The number of strikes taking place might feel overwhelming with so many different sectors and industries taking part. To stay ahead of the chaos, keep abreast of the different strike dates in your local area and anywhere you may need to travel.

A quick internet search will update you on the latest information about the strikes so you can plan an alternative route.

Whether you utilise a sat nav, google maps or even a good, old-fashioned road map, with a bit of forward planning you can avoid the congested roads when trains and buses aren’t running.

Be prepared

We think this is a good one, as a general rule of thumb! 

The dreaded, tyre-puncturing pothole exists year-around, regardless of any strikes that might be happening. It’s a good idea to save the details of your breakdown cover and ensure any tools and equipment you have for emergencies are in good, working condition.

You never know what might happen on the road, especially when taking a route you are not familiar with – so plan ahead and prepare for the worst. 

Assembling an emergency kit to keep in your car is one of the best things you can do to ensure your continued safety when things go wrong. 

Still concerned about road safety during the strikes?

Chloe Allen

Chloe Allen

Our Digital Marketing Executive Chloe is in charge of our e-newsletter. There's no one better placed to inform and delight you every month, so keep your eyes peeled for her newsletter hitting an email inbox near you soon.