Remember to MoT yourself this New Year

AS we start another New Year, road safety group GEM Motoring Assist, is advising people not only to check and MoT their car, but to also ensure they are personally fit and legal to take to the road.
The organisation is committed to helping drivers across the country and believes a few regular checks to cars and their drivers will greatly increase safety on the roads.
To help drivers look for signs of wear and tear, GEM has put together a check list relating our bodies to our cars.
GEM’s Top Five Comparisons to MOT Yourself
1.
Headlights and Mirrors = Eyesight – It is essential when driving that you are able to see everything on the road and therefore all drivers must ensure they get their eyesight checked regularly by a professional.  In the UK it is a legal requirement to ensure you are wearing glasses or lenses that reflect your current prescription.
2. Oil & Water = Blood Pressure – It is important to keep an eye on the oil and water in the car in case it runs out or overheats, causing your car to breakdown. Road users should keep blood pressure in check whilst driving especially in stressful situations. GEM supports the Courtesy on the Road campaign which aims to help combat road rage and encourages drivers to be more polite on the roads.  In a stressful situation, take a deep breath and think before you act.
3. Battery = Energy – The New Year can often be a stressful time of year and therefore it is vital that drivers find the time to recharge their batteries too in order not to feel worn out. What’s more a lot of people don’t often realise that certain prescription or over the counter medication can cause drowsiness and this is not always clear on the packet.  Anyone taking medication should make sure they check the side effects carefully and should not drive if feeling drowsy.  If in doubt, consult a pharmacist.
4. Fuel = Nutrition – It is important to make sure that drivers eat and drink the right foods especially when setting out on a long distance journey. Eating a heavy meal or the wrong foods just before a long drive can cause drowsiness and having lots of sugary substances can also lead to feeling fatigued.  Driving response time is rapidly reduced when tiredness kicks in and therefore it is important to stop and refresh before carrying on with a journey.  The Highway Code recommends that drivers should have a break of at least 15 minutes after every 2 hours of driving.
5. Tyre Pressure = Lungs – People can often feel sluggish, especially in the winter time.  It is important to get some air in our lungs and do regular exercise to ensure alertness.  It is surprising how effective even just a brisk walk can be to keep you feeling perky.
The organisations’s chief executive, David Williams, said: “People tend to forget that it is not just the car that needs a regular MoT but also the person driving it.  A large number of road accidents are caused by misjudgements and lack of attention to the road and it is crucial that road users are fully prepared for their journeys in 2011.
“Taking simple steps to ensure you are fit to drive will greatly increase your safety and help us further towards our goal to reduce the number of tragic road accidents each year”.

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