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MoT yourself

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Were all aware of the need to regularly check our cars and ensure that they pass the MoT test each year, but what about us? Do we ever stop and check that we are healthy and fit enough to be out on the road?

The road safety group GEM Motoring Assist has put together an interesting check list relating to our bodies, to help drivers check for wear and tear in themselves.

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.

Oil and 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.Equally, road users need to 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.

Battery = energy.

Driving at this time of year can often be stressful and therefore it is vital that drivers find the time to recharge their batteries too in order not to feel worn out.Whats more, a lot of people dont 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.

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 two hours of driving.

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 report goes on to point out that a large number of road accidents are caused by misjudgements and lack of attention to the road, so it is crucial that road users are fully prepared for their journeys. Taking simple steps to ensure you are fit to drive will greatly increase your safety and help reduce the number of road accidents each year.

Sounds like good advice to me.