Be smart: avoid the worst of the Easter traffic, warns GEM

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by James Luckhurst

44157650 - heavy traffic on a london a road

ROAD SAFETY organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to plan their journeys and avoid getting stuck in jams over the forthcoming Easter weekend.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth warned: “The afternoon rush hour is sure to start early this Thursday. Traffic volumes are expected to peak at around 6pm. We’re expecting long queues at all the usual motorway and main road locations, including the approaches to the Dartford River Crossing, the M5 south from Bristol, the M55 approaching Blackpool and the A11 towards the Norfolk coast.

“To minimise the risk of sitting in stationary traffic for hours, we recommend planning your journey so you’re travelling outside peak times. For example, if you’re away for the weekend, then set off later on Thursday if it’s feasible. For any day trips, get going early.

“More big queues are likely from lunchtime on Easter Monday as families return from their breaks. In most regions, school starts the very next day, so once again the roads are going to be extremely busy.”

GEM has some stress-busting tips for drivers and their passengers this Easter:

Before you set out, ask yourself whether a car journey is really necessary. If public transport is an alternative (at least for part of the trip), then that could save wear and tear on your nerves.

Plan journeys. Not only will this help you travel outside the times of peak congestion, but you’ll also be able to work out locations for breaks along the way… which in turn helps stave off fatigue and stress.

Share the driving if possible. This helps reduce stress levels.

As well as the inevitable array of apps and games, have a few old-fashioned in-car activities ready to keep children happy. One of the simplest is to pick a make or colour of car, then the first to spot 10 of them is the winner.

Make sure everyone (including pets if they’re travelling too) stays hydrated. Research has shown that dehydrated drivers are more prone to making errors such as late braking and drifting out of their lane. Dehydration also exacerbates grumpiness, fatigue and headaches, so ensure there’s plenty of water for everyone. Drivers should, of course, stop somewhere safe to drink, and not attempt to glug whilst on the move.

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