No matter how long you’ve been driving, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to road safety. Here are our top ten tips to help you stay safe on the roads.
1. Make sure you feel well enough to drive
This might seem obvious, but often this can go out of the window when you need to be somewhere. It’s important that you feel well enough to drive before setting off, and that you haven’t been impaired by any medications. A touch of flu could make you feel drowsy and slow down your reaction times.
It’s also important to note that it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even if you think you’re under the alcohol limit, if you feel less than 100% sober, it’s probably safer to call a taxi.
2. Stick to the speed limit
Speed limits are applied to certain roads for a reason, so by not adhering to them, you might put yourself, and others, at risk. Not only is it considerably safer to stick to the speed limit, but if you’re caught speeding, you could be subject to a fine, points on your licence, or potentially even a driving ban.
3. Consider the weather conditions
Whilst speed limits are there to be adhered to, if you’re driving in conditions that are less than ideal - maybe the roads are icy, or a thick fog has developed – it’s a good idea to go slower than the speed limit. This can also be applied if you’re on unfamiliar or particular windy roads. Whilst you might not get there quicker, you’ll definitely get there safer.
4. Keep a safe distance from other cars
Keep at least a two-second gap between your car and the car in front. This means that, if the other car brakes suddenly, the two-second gap will allow you to stop in plenty of time so you don’t crash into the back of them. If the roads are icy, or visibility is poor, it’s a good idea to increase this gap.
5. Don’t drive erratically
Not only will your car thank you for this one, but so will other road users. You can save fuel by making sure you accelerate and brake gently. Indicate before turning so it’s clear to other road users what you’re intending to do, allowing them to react accordingly to avoid an accident.
6. Keep an eye on your mirrors
Keep checking your mirrors so you’re fully aware of what’s going on around you. Not only this, but make sure to check your blind spot before pulling off – circumstances can change quickly, and cyclists and pedestrians are very vulnerable in comparison to other road users.
7. Don’t get distracted
Let’s face it, distractions are everywhere nowadays. Your phone, the radio, or even your passengers can distract you from the road – and even a split second distraction could cause an accident. Make sure your music isn’t on too loud, and switch your phone off whilst driving so you’re not tempted to check it.
8. Carry out any required maintenance
As well as making sure you’re well enough to drive, it’s important that your car is too! Check your tires and oil before heading off, especially during the winter months when the roads are more slippery. Not only will you be a lot safer whilst driving, but your car will thank you when the next MOT rolls round!
9. Keep an emergency kit in the car
There’s no harm in keeping some emergency items in the car, just in case! Sensible items to include could be a warning triangle, some warm clothing, a first aid kit, and maybe even some food and water.
10. Put your seatbelt on!
If you happen to have an accident on the road, your seatbelt could save your life. Make sure your passengers are strapped in too before setting off.