Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who have been killed or injured in the recent bomb attack in Manchester which has brought home to us all what we can do to stay safe and protect our families from danger. Likewise we must stay safe on our roads in order to do this we must be alert to all potential dangers which will help reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.
Below are our 12 key tips to keep you safe
- Check your vehicle
Highways England traffic officers attend over 85,000 breakdowns each year these could easily be avoided by a few simple checks on your vehicle before setting off on your journey 40% of these breakdowns are down to engine trouble, tyre problems and running out of fuel before hitting the roads make sure you are well rested and that you have planned your route. Check your tyre tread and tyre pressure, fuel, oil and water levels and that all your lights are working.
- Mobile Phones
If you use your mobile phone whilst driving you are breaking the law this includes using your phone to follow a map or read a text message. Research shows you are four times more likely to be be involved in a accident if you use your phone, the penalties for using a mobile phone increased to six points and a £200 fine from the 1st March 2017.
Think Bike all motorists should take more time looking out for motorcyclists who account for 19% of all road deaths even though they only account for 1% of road users. A motorcyclists is 38 times more likely to be killed in a crash than car drivers per mile ridden. Before exiting a junction look carefully for motorcyclists and always check for bikes when changing lanes, turning right or turning left.
The number of cyclists on our roads increases every year some 3.2 billion miles are cycled every year as motorists we have to be extra vigilant for cyclists by always checking carefully before opening your car doors, look out for cyclists when turning, give cyclists plenty of room when overtaking them. Recently former Moto GP champion Nicky Hayden was killed riding his cycle on the Rimini coastline last week.
- Driving on Country Roads
When driving on country roads you have to be extra careful as 59% of all road deaths happen on country roads ten times higher than deaths on motorways. Always stick to the speed limits they are in place to keep you safe. Country roads have sharp bends hidden dips, blind summits and concealed entrances. Very often your view is restricted by hedges and trees if you find yourself behind a tractor or slow moving vehicle be patent and don’t overtake unless it is safe to do so.
On country roads you may well come across a horse and rider if you do slow down, always allow plenty of room for passing, never sound your horn as horses are quickly frightened by noise and fast moving vehicles and as a result are likely to rear up.
If you are involved in a accident your chances of being killed double if you are not wearing your seatbelt. Always wear your seatbelt if you don’t you are breaking the law and if caught you will receive a £100 on the spot fine.
The quicker you drive the less time you have to stop exceeding the speed limit is the number one reason for motorists being killed. You are four times more likely to be killed on a country road than on a urban A road or motorway. The speed limit on any road is the maximum speed you can travel but you should always take into consideration the weather and the road condition and drive at a safe speed.
Do not drive if you feel tired 20% of all accidents on major roads are the result of drivers being tired, many drivers turn up the radio or open a window if feeling tired, this may work for a very short period of time but if you feel tired you should stop take a break have two cups of coffee or drinks with a high caffeine content and only resume your journey when fully refreshed. Try to avoid long journeys over night and never start a journey if you feel tired.
- Drink Driving
The safest way to avoid being caught for drink driving is not to drink and drive remember a second drink can double your chances of being involved in a fatal accident. If you want to enjoy a drink of alcohol leave your vehicle at home and use public transport, a taxi or a friend to get to your destination. Also be aware that you can still be over the legal limit to drive the morning after.
- Drug Driving
You are breaking the law if you drive after taking illegal drugs, along with breathalysers the Police have equipment for testing for drugs, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of illegal drugs you will face a fine, a ban or a prison sentence. The penalties are the same for drug driving as they are for drink driving.
Ensuring your children are kept entertained results in far less stressful journeys, the most common way to entertain your children is to give them a tablet loaded with their favourite games and apps other options are activity books, travel games like Battleship, Chess, Connect Four etc, audio books, portable DVD loaded with suitable films or cartoons or wood games like word association or I-Spy.