Back on the road…
At GEM Motoring Assist, we always strive to keep our members on the move. Although as drivers we may be keen to jump in the car for a long-awaited get-away, there are some quick and simple steps that it’s worth making time for, to ensure that you as a driver, and your vehicle, are in tip top condition for the road ahead. Read on for a whole host of resources to help you take care of your driver wellbeing, your vehicle wellbeing and those all-important motoring essentials.
We all know it’s important to look after our wellbeing, but we don’t always consider how it could affect us behind the wheel. Whether you’re a hay fever sufferer or you’re travelling in hot weather with pets in the car, read on for our guidance on how to keep yourself as safe as can be.
On your travels, be watchful for the symptoms of fatigue and the risks of being behind the wheel when tired. This doesn’t only apply when you’re on a long car journey… even a short, but dull and monotonous, motorway journey can make you feel tired and unfocused.
The past year of Covid restrictions will have put many people off booking an eye test, but as things open up and the roads become busier, we encourage all drivers to prioritise safety and book a proper examination.
When hay fever season comes around, sufferers certainly know about it, and it’s important to be extra careful before getting behind the wheel. Some treatments can be dangerous for drivers, because their sedative effect can leave a sufferer feeling fatigued, dizzy or groggy.
Read our six point POLLEN plan to fight off hay fever and reduce the risk it poses behind the wheel.
Making long journeys in hot weather can be stressful, especially if traffic is heavy and you’re stuck for any length of time. We recommend good preparation and sensible journey planning to help you cope with the worst of the heat.
For more guidance, check out our tips for keeping cool on the roads.
It’s not just us humans who feel the heat, our furry friends suffer too. That’s why we encourage pet owners to ensure their animals are safe and comfortable on car journeys in sunny and warmer weather, particularly when temperatures rise into the high 20s.
We share our top tips in our article : How to keep your dog comfortable in the car this summer.
Driving in later life
The process of ageing is different for every single person. That’s why GEM is keen to encourage drivers approaching later life to reflect on their own driving, to understand where they may be experiencing difficulty, and to know where to get practical advice.
It’s ironic that we all still look forward to collapsing onto the sofa or into an armchair at the end of the working day and taking the weight off our feet, yet most of us will have spent nearly all of the day sitting down at work. According to the statistics, the average British adult spends between 50% and 70% of their day sitting down, and it’s not doing any of us any good.
There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from riding a motorcycle, but knowing your own limits is a vital component of being a safe, responsible rider. Several weeks of lockdown have meant a slow start for many riders, and GEM is urging every motorcyclist to stay legal, stay safe and focus on boosting skills to help reduce motorcycle casualties during the peak riding seasons.
Read our five safety tips for motorcyclists.
Driving under the influence
It goes without saying that drinking alcohol and driving do not mix. But what about drugs? Whether you are taking medicines prescribed by your doctor or using a remedy bought over the counter at a pharmacy you should check to make sure that they will not affect your ability to drive.
To find out more download our road safety leaflet.
Driver wellbeing doesn’t just relate to the driver’s state of mind and health, it also includes distracted driving. We all know that we shouldn’t use a mobile phone behind the wheel, and this is not only illegal but also very risky. In recent months, many of us will have come to rely on digital communication and will be tempted to answers calls, respond to texts or stay connected through our phones… even when back behind the wheel.
Find out when you can, and when you should, use your mobile phone in your vehicle. Download our road safety leaflet here.
Of course it’s not just ourselves that we need to take care of to influence our safety on the roads… our vehicles also need to be in top condition. So whether you’ve not used yours for a while, or you’re a daily driver, think about how you can fit these useful checks into your routine to keep your vehicle in great condition.
Carrying out regular car checks is important all year round, but with many of us planning longer journeys and road trips for holidays and weekends away this summer, now is the perfect time to perform a few simple walk around safety checks before setting off…
Many of us have come to rely on satnav devices to help us get from A to B or to keep us updated with traffic and roadworks that might scupper our plans for an easy journey. However, poor positioning of satnav devices on car windscreens is posing a significant threat to road safety.
Read our article on how to position your satnav to maximise your visibility and minimise distractions.
Summertime provides a perfect opportunity to make your car’s body gleam again. Following our top tips for car washing will help you to achieve the best results.
Keep your vehicle gleaming with our Top Ten Tips for car washing.
We all know that it makes sense to travel with plenty of fuel in the tank and, of course, to top up with the correct fuel for your vehicle (it sounds obvious but mistakes do happen!). So always ensure you are familiar with the type of fuel you will need for the vehicle you’re driving and, particularly if you’re travelling an unfamiliar route, find out where you can fill up before you set off or during your journey.
Here we talk about the new E10 fuel coming to forecourts in September, that will affect all vehicles except diesels and fully electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular and accessible to drivers, but what do we need to consider when making the move to a fully electric car? GEM’s chief executive Neil Worth has recently found out for himself and shares his experience as a new electric car driver.
Find out how he got on in the diary of an electric car driver.
What to do in a breakdown
Despite all of the above, unfortunately some vehicles breakdowns are beyond our control, so knowing what to do in the event of a breakdown can ensure that you can resume your journey as quickly as possible, or at the very least get to somewhere safe, warm and dry.
Find out what to do in the event of a breakdown and how to ensure that you stay safe, no matter where or when you break down.
Finally, being a driver and owning a car brings many benefits, but we mustn’t forget about the all-important motoring essentials that keep us well-equipped and legal on the roads.
As drivers, we can minimise the chances of experiencing a break down by ensuring our vehicle is roadworthy, however we cannot foresee the unexpected such as a nail going through our tyre! So breakdown cover really is an essential for motorists who don’t want to be stranded at the roadside.
Read our Guide to breakdown cover to find out more.
Dash cams are smaller and easier to use than ever before. They also have the potential to make a significant contribution to road safety and to save you money on your car insurance.
Read our Dash cam Q&A where we answer the questions we’ve been asked recently by our members.
GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to take a moment before setting off and ensuring the vehicle they are using is properly insured. Driving without car insurance is illegal. You can have your vehicle seized and potentially crushed, along with a £300 penalty ticket and six points on your licence.
Take a moment to check that your car insurance is up-to-date.
We all know that we should get our vehicles serviced regularly, but why is it so important? What actually happens during a service and how do you know what to expect when you are given your bill?
Read our guide to vehicle servicing to find out more.
Like services, an MOT is an integral part of the process to keep your vehicle roadworthy as it ages. If your vehicle is over three years old then it requires a valid MOT Test Certificate to be used on the road.
Find out more about motoring essentials such as the MOT certificate.
Formerly the paper tax disk, the system for taxing vehicles is now completely electronic. To use and keep a vehicle on a road it must have a current Vehicle Excise Licence.
Find out more about car tax and other motoring essentials.
Before you drive a vehicle on a public road, you will need a valid driving licence for the vehicle being driven. There are two types of driving licence, provisional and full. You must be at least 16 before riding a motorcycle and 17 before driving a car.
Read our driving documents page to find out about provisional and full driving licences.
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