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Safe Driving Advice

Today’s roads and motorways are ever more crowded with traffic and everyone seems to be in a rush to get to their destination. So below are a few useful suggestions on how we can all meet the challenge of keeping safe on the road.

Plan your journey

Plan your journey and route before you set off, give yourself plenty of time so you are not having to rush and for those long journeys make sure that you have regular breaks.

Don’t speed

Going fast on the road tends to only make a difference of just a few minutes to your journey in most cases and yet your chances of getting into an accident increases by 17% for every five miles over the speed limit that you travel. Therefore take your time on the road and arrive at your destination safely.

Use your seatbelts

When you get behind the wheel of your car always ensure that you buckle up your seat belt, even on short journeys it is imperative that you wear your seat belt at all times.

If you have passengers it is your responsibility to ensure that both the front and rear seat passengers buckle up theirs too. Wearing a seatbelt could be the difference between you surviving a car crash and not.

Take regular breaks

If you are stressed or tired, it is really important that you take a break. Learn to be able to recognise the signs of tiredness. The Department of Transport recommend that you have a 15 minute break for every 2 hours drive on a long journey. Drive to a car park or a safe place for you to stop and rest or sleep. Statistics tell us that 20% of the accidents that happen on the UK’s motorways occur because a driver has fallen asleep at the wheel.

Concentrate

There is a lot happening on the roads and motorways today, so stay alert. Look well ahead to spot potential dangers and always be ready to react.

Stay calm

We all know that the roads are getting more congested but don’t let congestion get to you. Accept that the journey that used to take 20 minutes now takes half an hour and leave more time to arrive at your destination.

Mobile phones

Do not use your mobile phone whilst driving. It is illegal and you could be fined up to £60 and gain three penalty points on your licence. Research shows that using a mobile phone while driving means you are four times more likely to be involved in an accident. If you have to make or receive calls then use the appropriate hands free devices – but remember, it’s still extremely easy to get distracted so we’d recommend not using your mobile at all when you’re in the driving seat.

If you breakdown…

In case of breakdown, move your car to the side of the road and put up the necessary signage such as the reflective triangle, giving ample notice to any oncoming traffic. If you have broken down on the motorway do not sit in your car, park on the hard shoulder and wait a safe distance from the motorway for assistance to arrive.

Keep your distance

It can be difficult to judge the correct driving distance at high speeds. Reduce your speed and keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front. Following a vehicle too closely is called ‘tailgating’. Tailgating is an aggressive driving behaviour that is easily mistaken for ‘Road Rage’.

Allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced. The gap should be at least doubled on wet roads and increased still further on icy roads.

Driving in heavy rain

In heavy rain or flood allow extra stopping distance, and use your dipped headlights. Drive slowly through flooded areas and when you have driven through them test your brakes.

Driving in fog

In fog your vision is impaired, you need to drive slowly and don’t speed up until you are sure the fog risk has gone. Use dipped lights and fog-lights in severe fog.

Parking

Always try to reverse into parking spaces. Many more accidents occur when drivers are reversing out of car park spaces where the driver’s vision is more restricted.

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