A Safe Journey

Every day, we travel alongside our customers. Our priority is to help them reach their destinations as safely, quickly and comfortably as possible. Your safety is our priority!

In the event of accident or breakdown, call our 24-hour Journey Assistance line on 707 221 221, or use the nearest SOS station, located at every two kilometres along the roadside.

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Brief advice for a safe journey

Tyres

The correct tyre pressure is important and tyres should not be damaged or worn. And the same applies to the spare tyre.

Lights

Exterior lights should all be functioning properly and correctly aligned.

Windscreen wipers

Check that the blades are in perfect condition and that the windscreen washer tank is full.

Rear-view mirrors

Mirrors should be clean and adjusted to the driver's height. Adjust them so that a small part of your car is still visible, since this will help you see where you are in relation to the road and other traffic.

Warning triangle and high-visibility vest

Check that the warning triangle and high-visibility vest are in their proper places and in good condition. Remember, their use is compulsory in Portugal if you have to stop on the carriageway or on a shoulder.

Luggage

Distribute the weight evenly in the boot. Heavier bags should be placed in the middle.

Seat belts

Check that the seat belts are functioning properly, not just the driver's but the passengers' too. Their use is compulsory in Portugal.

Documents

Check that you have all the necessary documents with you: proof of ownership, periodic safety inspection, and insurance certificate.

Route

Plan your route before you set off, including rest and meal stops.

Fuel

Check that you have enough fuel to reach your destination or plan refuelling stops.

Save as you drive

Good practices to reduce fuel consumption:

  • Do not turn the engine on until you are ready to leave; heating up the engine before departure will only burn more fuel;

  • Always keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. This will avoid unnecessary accelerating and braking, reducing fuel consumption;

  • Whenever possible, drive at low revs. For a car that runs on petrol change gears between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm, and for a car that runs on diesel, between 1,500 and 2,000 rpm;

  • Accelerate and brake smoothly; when you accelerate brusquely, your vehicle burns more fuel;

  • Do not drive at high speed; this increases not only your fuel consumption but also the risk of accidents;

  • When driving downhill or in situations of controlled braking, keep the vehicle in gear. With modern technology, a vehicle will cut off the fuel flow if you take your foot off the accelerator and keep the vehicle in gear. This lets you take advantage of the vehicle's momentum to keep moving without consuming fuel;

  • We recommend you turn the engine off if you are going to be stationary for longer than 60 seconds;

  • Avoid using the air conditioning as this increases fuel consumption. Avoid travelling with the windows open because this increases fuel consumption by up to 10%.

Road safety

Good practices to avoid the risk of road traffic accidents

Speed

Your speed should be determined not only by the speed limits in the Highway Code but also by the various conditions you encounter along the way.

  • Obey the speed limits shown on the traffic signs; if you drive faster than the legal speed limit, you are breaking the law.

  • To ensure you don't speed, adapt your driving to the traffic conditions: slow down in bad weather, or whenever there are road works, accidents, heavy traffic or any other situation that could compromise safety. Remember, the faster you are travelling, the greater the distance you will cover before you can bring your vehicle to a stop.

  • Bad weather

  • Obstructions and/or tailbacks due to road works or accidents

  • Heavy traffic or other situations

  • The faster you drive, the more fuel you will consume. Plus, you run the risk of getting a fine. And the pay off in terms of time saved is generally non-significant.

  • Speed is often a determining factor in the consequences of road traffic accidents.

  • Driving too fast often leads to errors of judgement because drivers are unable to properly assess road and traffic conditions.

Bad weather;

Rain, fog, wind, ice and snow significantly affect driving conditions.

Rain:

  • Slow down

  • Check the tyre pressure and make sure your tyres are in good condition

  • Be especially attentive when the rain first starts, since this tends to make the road surface slippery

  • Switch on your dipped headlights

  • Use the windscreen wipers and make sure you keep the blades in good condition

  • Brake gently so the steering doesn't block

  • Increase the distance between yourself and other road users

Ice and snow:

  • Slow down

  • Switch on your dipped headlights and fog lights

  • Use the windscreen wipers and make sure you keep the blades in good condition

  • Brake gently to avoid skidding (your tyres may completely lose their grip on the road)

  • Increase the distance between yourself and other road users

  • If you don't feel safe, stop.

Fog:

  • Slow down

  • Check the tyre pressure and make sure your tyres are in good condition

  • Increase the distance between yourself and other road users

  • Switch on your dipped headlights and fog lights but don't use your high beam lights. It is vital that you can see and be seen.

  • Use the road markings to guide you

  • Brake gently

  • Increase your safety distance from the vehicle ahead to avoid the risk of pileups

Wind:

  • Slow down

  • Avoid sudden movements and keep the steering wheel steady

  • Take care when overtaking, crossing viaducts or bridges, and exiting tunnels or sheltered areas

Drinking and Driving:

Alcohol badly affects all the physical and mental capacities you need to drive safely.
If you have had drinks with alcohol:

  • You are more likely to take unnecessary risks;
  • Your visual perception will be diminished and you will gradually lose peripheral vision;
  • You will be less able to judge speeds and distances;
  • Your reaction time will increase;
  • You will have less control over your movements. As a result, you may brake more sharply and/or unnecessarily, or turn the wheel harder or faster than you should;
  • If your blood alcohol content is 0.5g / L, the risk of a fatal accident doubles; at 0.8g / L, the risk quadruples; at 0.9g / L, it increases fivefold; and at 1.2g / L the risk is 16 times greater.

Distraction:

When you drive you must be aware of what is going on around you; your brain must process all the information it receives to enable you to make the right decisions at the right time.

The main causes of distraction when driving are:

  • Looking at the scenery, an advertisement, an accident or even your GPS;
  • Using your mobile phone;
  • Thinking about personal or professional problems;
  • Depression, anxiety or other pathologies associated with lack of attention and concentration;




Fatigue:

When you are driving you must concentrate intensely and be attentive to many different things at once, while sitting stiffly in the same position for what may be long periods at a time. This leads to fatigue but you may be unaware of it in its early stages.

Tired drivers have a tendency to drive too fast and misjudge their own speed and that of others.

To avoid fatigue you should:

  • Keep the vehicle ventilated and the temperature inside comfortable or on the low-side;
  • Listen to some gentle music on the radio or a CD;
  • Drink plenty of water, abstain from drinking alcohol and eat light meals;
  • Avoid keeping your gaze fixed on the centre of the road;
  • Be flexible with regard to your arrival time;
  • Avoid starting your journey after a full day's work;
  • Stop for 10 to 15 minutes every two hours.

Drowsiness:

Drowsiness is the main cause of fatal accidents, especially on the motorway.

On long journeys, remember to:

  • Stop often to break the monotony
  • Eat light meals
  • Keep the interior of your vehicle well ventilated
  • Chat to your travelling companions
  • Stop and refresh yourself with some cold water

Tips for driving safely

Important advice for safe driving on motorways

Never forget that motorways are meant for fast traffic: the carriageways are physically separated from each other; there are no intersections; and you can only enter and leave them at specific places.

On motorways, the following are prohibited:

  • Pedestrians, animals and vehicles that are not motor vehicles or motorcycles;

  • U-turns;

  • Reversing;

  • Crossing the central barrier or any opening in it;

  • Driving without the lights required by law;

  • Stopping or parking (on both the carriageway and the hard shoulder). If you need to stop, you should do so at a service or resting area.

When entering or leaving motorways and service areas, you should:

      • Use the road signs and markings to guide you;

      • Drive at the appropriate speed to join the entry/exit lane;

      • Observe the traffic:
        - If there is no danger, drive on, properly indicating your intention;
        - If there is danger, wait for an opportunity to join the road safely.

When driving on the motorway, remember to:

  • Always drive in the lane farthest to the right;

  • Always indicate in advance whenever you want to change lanes and do not start your manoeuvre without checking that it is safe to do so;

  • Keep a safe distance between your own vehicle and the one in front of you;

  • Obey the signs;

  • Take note of any information shown on the variable message boards, which will warn you of any incidents on your route that may affect your journey.

In the event of accident or breakdown, call our 24-hour Journey Assitance line on 707 221 221, or use the nearest SOS station;

these are located at every two kilometres along the roadside.
Stay safe:

  • When you call, give the operator as much information as possible;

  • Stop your vehicle on the hard shoulder and switch on your hazard warning lights immediately;

  • Put your high-visibility vest on;

  • Place the warning triangle on the ground 50 metres behind your vehicle;

  • Stand in a safe place, i.e. behind the rails and turned towards the vehicles which will be approaching you from behind.