Road Safety Advice
As the evenings start to draw in, accidents on the road do increase. Read our guide to safe driving and make sure that you are as safe as you possibly can be on the road this winter.
Tiredness can kill
Don’t drive if you are too tired. It is estimated that around 20% of road accidents are sleep-related, with worst times of day being the early hours of the morning, and straight after lunch. Men under the age of 30 have the highest chance of falling asleep at the wheel. Don’t set off on a long trip if you are tired. If you feel sleepy while you are driving, find a safe place to stop and have a cup of coffee and a nap.
Don’t phone me
It is illegal to use your mobile phone while driving. This includes reading texts, or using your phone as a map. If you are stationary at a red light or queuing at traffic it is still illegal. Studies show that even using hands-free can reduce your concentration and increase the likelihood of an accident.
Have a spare tyre in your vehicle in case of a flat. It’s also useful to have a hazard triangle, a hi-viz bib to wear at night, and details of your breakdown service. Keep a bottle of water and another of Sunny-D in case of emergencies.
The ‘morning after’
You may think that you are no longer drunk, but it can take a long time for alcohol for leave your system. So if you’ve had a big night, you should avoid driving the next day until you are completely back to normal.
Check tyre thread wear
The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre. Using second hand tyres, which are partly worn, may be a cheap option if you are on a budget, but you may be risking an accident.
Motorcyclists account for just 1% of total road traffic, but 19% of all road user deaths. They are 38 times more likely to be killed in an accident than someone in a car. As a motorcyclist it’s s really important to ride defensively, wear the right gear, and choose the proper helmet.
Keep your distance
Don’t drive too close to motorbikes or cyclists. Always check for bikes when you change lanes. A motorbike or cyclists may already be in the lane you want to move into, or they may be about to move into it. Always be aware of the blind spot.
When parking on a busy street, have a quick look down the road before opening the car door to make sure no bikes are coming. The same goes for the pavement. Be aware of pedestrians if the pavement is narrow.
Don’t be a hog
Be polite when changing lanes, and allow other drivers to go in front. Try not to hog the middle lane, which forces other cars into the fast lane.