Front Page: Traficom
Front Page: Traficom

Forecast of Easter road traffic and tips for safe travel

The Easter outbound traffic will start again at the end of the week. Fintraffic, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, the police, the Ministry of the Interior Department for Rescue Services, the Emergency Response Centre Agency and the Finnish Road Safety Council highlight the importance of preparation to ensure safe traffic during Easter: Get plenty of rest before your trip, prepare your car and familiarise yourself with its ADAS systems. Be prepared to concentrate on driving while you are on the road. Learn also what to do in case of an accident and download the 112 Suomi mobile app on your phone in case of emergencies and problems. Have a safe Easter on the road!

Easter road traffic forecasts: busiest traffic on Maundy Thursday

As usual, the busiest traffic days of Easter are expected to be Maundy Thursday (28 March) and Easter Monday (1 April). 

The busiest time for outbound traffic is on Maundy Thursday between 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Traffic will also be heavy on Good Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and even later in the day in the north. There may be intermittent queues, especially on the exit roads from Helsinki Metropolitan Area and on main roads 4, 5 and 9 up to Jyväskylä and Mikkeli.

Return traffic will already start to increase during the afternoon and evening of Sunday 31 March, with a peak in return traffic on Monday 1 April between noon and 8:00 p.m. So be prepared for queues on the roads, especially in Southern Finland.

"Easter traffic is traditionally the busiest time on our roads as people head to holiday destinations such as cottages or the northern ski slopes during the holidays. Compared to winter holiday traffic, there is clearly more traffic now, as everyone goes on holiday at the same time at Easter. People should therefore be prepared for intermittent queues," says Kari Tarkki, Fintraffic’s Head of Road Traffic Management Centre.

Adequate safety clearances in place and eyes off the mobile phone in traffic

Even at Easter, safe traffic is a team sport. For the busy traffic on Maundy Thursday, the police advise people to drive well rested and with a flexible driving style that is considerate of others. 

"Only set off when you are well rested and allow plenty of time for the drive, so you're less likely to get nervous with other road users on the road. This will help avoiding unnecessary and dangerous overtaking as well. Check that there is enough windscreen washer fluid in the tank, that the tyre pressures are correct and that the tyres underneath are suitable for the weather. A sufficient safety distance from the vehicle in front always gives you a safety margin for unexpected braking, for example when an animal rushes into the road," says Police Inspector Heikki Kallio from the National Police Board. 

The Finnish Road Safety Council also highlights the importance of concentration while driving, as attentive and focused drivers are the key to safe Easter traffic: the risk of an accident is doubled if the driver is on the phone or reaches for it while driving.

"Things happen at a fast pace in traffic, especially when there are a lot of people on the roads. This equation does not include a phone in the driver's hand. Passengers can help the driver while driving, for example by answering messages or navigating,” elaborates Petri Jääskeläinen, Planner at the Finnish Road Safety Council.  

Clean car sensors, cameras and radars 

Driver-assisting ADAS systems in cars, such as blind spot assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, have become more common over the past decade. They warn of dangerous situations in traffic and prevent accidents or reduce the risk of accidents. Knowing the technical features of your car is part of a smooth and safe journey.

"It's good for every driver to know what systems are in their car and how they work in different conditions and traffic situations. So carefully familiarise yourself with your car's user manual and user interface in advance. Many systems are automatically switched on when the car is started, as they are designed to make driving safer. Also keep your car's sensors, cameras and radars clean so that the systems work properly," Traficom’s Chief Adviser Inkeri Parkkari advises.

Recap the instructions on how to take action at scenes of accident–your actions could save lives

The responsibilities of road users include helping others in the event of an accident and alerting for help. From time to time, it is a good idea to recap the instructions on how to act in the event of an accident, so that in the face of a real situation we know how to do act in the correct way. Accident situations can vary widely, and road and traffic conditions vary from one time of day to another and from one season to another. The most important thing is to start helping and to act in a way that is safe for yourself and other road users.

“If you notice a traffic accident, stop in a safe place and turn on your vehicle's hazard lights. Move to the scene of the accident on the side of the road. Find out quickly what has happened and call 112 to report the emergency.  Try to prevent further damage by warning other traffic and cutting the power to the crashed car. You should also remember to keep yourself safe and, for example, wear a high-visibility vest to ensure that you can be seen. Always place the triangular warning sign far enough from the accident site to allow enough time for other drivers to react and assist the injured in any way you can. If professional assistance is already at the scene, focus on slowing down and safely passing the site, and don’t take any photos of the accident site,” says Tommi Luhtaniemi, Senior Inspector at the Ministry of the Interior’s Department for Rescue Services.

The Emergency Response Centre Agency also reminds of the importance of stopping at the scene of an accident. When an emergency report is made directly from the scene of an accident, the exact location and correct information about the situation is transmitted to the emergency response centre. This allows the most appropriate help to be alerted and life-saving instructions to be given.

Holidaymakers should also download and use the 112 Suomi mobile app on their phone in case of any emergencies and problems. For example, the app can be used to contact the Road User Line to report acute problems on roads that pose a risk to traffic (for example, major road surface damage, flood water on the road, road debris, slippery roads, roads blocked by snow or traffic blocked by a broken-down vehicle).

"The 112 Suomi application also provides road traffic incident notifications and possible hazard notifications according to their location," says Development Manager Tommi Hopearuoho from the Emergency Response Centre Agency.

Additional information

Chief Adviser Inkeri Parkkari, , p. 0295 347 089