Holy Week season records one of the highest volumes of road traffic during the year, as many Filipinos take this time to travel and spend time with their families.

For a hassle-free road-trip, every detail must be carefully planned including ensuring that your vehicle is fit for a long drive. Driving is a complex mental and physical task that requires sustained levels of concentration and skill to maintain maximum performance and safety.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (Shell) provides a few practical tips in preparation for a long drive.

1. Before your trip, establish a “Journey Plan”

A Journey Plan is an essential tool for any trip taking in consideration elements that affect driving prior to the trip. These include the distance, the best route towards the destination, possible rest stops, road and weather conditions.

Assign a friend or a relative as your travel buddy and share your Journey Plan with them. Keep your travel buddy informed every time you make a rest stop.

2. Avoid anything that takes your hands, eyes or attention away from driving

Multi-tasking behind the wheel is a deadly predicament for the driver, his passengers and others on the road. This is particularly important in the case of mobile phones. While mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives, using these gadgets while driving is distracting and thus, extremely dangerous.

3. Avoid driver fatigue

A number of road traffic fatalities are also caused by driver fatigue, hence vigilance is non-negotiable when driving over long distances and maintaining constant speed. A driver suffering from fatigue is unable to function at a normal level of alertness and efficiency.

Symptoms of driver fatigue include mood changes, constant yawning and stretching, heavy eyes, lack of concentration and erratic speed variations.

Here are three simple steps on how to deal with driver fatigue:

  • STOP – Pull over at a safe location

  • REVIVE/REFRESH – As a short-term solution, take a 15-20 minute nap or have a cup of coffee.

  • SURVIVE – Continue driving only until you reach a place where you can get proper sleep

4. Get your ride ready for the road

Most of all, ensure that your ride is in best shape and road ready. Check vehicle condition and equipment before venturing on the long drive. Keeping the safety and welfare of customers in mind, Shell offers free, ready-for-travel vehicle check services to all customers from March 26-April 8, 2012.

Customers and their families will be given brochures with safety driving tips, risk management information in relation to driver fatigue, a vehicle and equipment checklist, and various products and services that Shell Helix Service Center (SHSC) and Shell Helix Oil Change + (SHOC+) offer.

“Shell knows that Holy Week is one of the seasons where Filipino families get together and go for long drives. To help them stay safe, we at Shell are giving free safety checks at selected sites in Metro Manila and along major highways in Luzon. Passing by a Shell station to have your vehicles checked is the quickest, most convenient way to keep yourself and your family safe on the road.” said Oying Yam, Shell Retail General Manager

Shell is committed to provide its customers with the best quality fuels and services that only Shell Helix Service Center (SHSC) and Shell Helix Oil Change + (SHOC+) can offer. Visit any Shell station to gas up and avail of the free safety checks to ensure that your car is road ready for the Holy Week season.