With travel restrictions within the UK now lifted, many road users are finding themselves spending more time back behind the wheel – but perhaps not as often as before.

Duncan Chapman, Retailer Principal, said: “If there’s one element of the COVID-19 pandemic that many drivers have enjoyed, it’s been avoiding that morning rush hour and facing the traffic on the journey back home.

“We’ve all spent less time in our vehicles since the pandemic began, and while this has had many positive impacts on the environment, our time spent away from the driver’s seat has changed the way we drive, what we see on the roads and how we behave.

“Below are my top tips to navigate driving post-pandemic:

  1. Our driving skills may have slipped slightly

“Unsurprisingly, less time spent in our cars over the past 18 months has led to many drivers feeling that their driving ability is a little rusty. It’s inevitable for your skills to slip if you go from doing something every day to barely doing it once a week – but it’s not just this pause in routine that has impacted our driving habits. Emptier roads and motorways have led to many drivers increasing their speed and being less aware of the speed limit.

“If you’re concerned that your driving has deteriorated since before the pandemic, it may be a good idea to get refresher lessons from a driving instructor and to reread the highway code to brush up on your understanding of the rules of the road.

“It’s also a good idea to practise driving during quieter times of the day. Avoid going out during rush hour and peak times where possible because this may add more pressure.

  1. We’re packing different essentials

“It’s always a good idea to carry essentials when making any car journey. Depending on where you’re located and the time of the year, these essentials may include a map, tools for changing a tyre, and a torch and blanket. In 2021, however, it’s far more common to see a face mask dangling from your rear-view mirror than an air freshener.

“The nationwide reduction in our driving frequency has led to a significant increase in vehicle health issues. With drivers spending far less time on the road than before the pandemic, our car batteries are unsurprisingly taking a hit. Less usage and extended periods of inactivity is the perfect marriage for a battery failure. If you know you’re using your car less often, it may be worth investing in a pair of jump leads to keep in your car boot at all times, just in case.

  1. We’re more nervous about driving long distances

“It’s natural to feel nervous ahead of a long-distance drive, particularly if it’s to a new destination. However, this anxiety can be made worse when you’ve been driving less often.

“With the right preparation, there’s no reason your first long journey can’t go smoothly. Before you set off, make sure you’ve fully checked your car’s essentials – that’s oil, coolant, fuel and tyre pressures – so there are no nasty surprises en-route.

“Make sure to plan in regular breaks to prevent any fatigue or anxiety that has built up throughout the journey. If you’re travelling during peak times, make sure to factor in time for traffic, too.

“Two hours should be the maximum period of time you drive for without a break, and each break should be a minimum of 15 minutes to get you rested, refuelled and ready to get back out on the road.”

Our dealerships at Malton and York are both fully open for essential services and MoT tests, as well as virtual and phone appointments to discuss our range of electric, hybrid, petrol, diesel and Volvo Selekt Approved Used Cars. For more information, please call Malton 01653 693751 or York on 01904 789789 and we will be very happy to help.