Drivers are finally returning to the road as more businesses reopen and life begins to get back to normal. Stay-at-home orders and the increase of people working and shopping remotely during the pandemic has, probably negatively, impacted our driving skills.
Before you hit the highway again, you’ll want to do some vehicle checks and make sure you refresh yourself on the rules of the road. Here are a few tips based on advice from
Consumer Reportsto help you get back into driving.
Make sure your car is ready for driving
You should check to see whether your car is in good driving condition, especially if you haven’t driven it in a while. Even if you regularly took short trips to the grocery store during the lockdown, your car should be checked for basic safety issues before you venture out onto the road.
Here are some things you want to do to make sure your car is safe to drive:
- Schedule aninspectionwith a mechanic to see if your car needs any repairs
- Check your battery to see if it needs recharging or replacement
- Check all the fluids and fill them up if low
- Check your tires and stop by a gas station to inflate them if necessary
- Check your windshield and refill your windshield wiper fluid
Take care of your health
Now that your car is in tip-top shape and fit to return to daily driving, it’s time to take care of your own road readiness. Taking a look at changes in your own health status is a good place to start. You might want to schedule an appointment for an eye examination and hearing test.
You should also consider any new prescription or over-the-counter medications you might be on. Your doctor or pharmacist can determine whether there are any drug interactions or side effects that could possibly impair driving.
Older drivers can take advantage of online programs like
CarFitto learn how to adjust their car seats or positioning for maximum safety and comfort.
Refresh your driving skills
It may have been a while since you had to park your car in a tight spot or safely change lanes on a busy highway. Even though there were fewer drivers on the road last year, there was an increased number of fatal accidents and
reckless driving behavior.
Take the time to re-familiarize yourself with your car's controls and re-read the manual as a refresher.
Older driversespecially should start slow and cover shorter distances until they are comfortable behind the wheel again. There are a variety of online videos and low or no-cost courses you can take designed specifically for returning drivers.
Check your car insurance
There may have been changes to your car insurance during lockdown, since many companies lowered their rates to accommodate for their customers. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, you might see your
insurance rates increase.
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