Road safety advice for drivers
Even before setting off on your journey there are some basic checks to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy and safe to drive.
Every year Highways England traffic officers deal with more than 85,000 breakdowns on the roads they patrol and in the past two years, over 40 per cent of these breakdowns were caused by vehicles running out of fuel, tyre maintenance, power loss and engine trouble. (Source: think.direct.gov.uk)
Please visit the Think website for more detailed information on some basic checks you should carry out to your vehicle before you start your journey.
Don’t drive tired.
Driving after little sleep, or failing to take regular breaks, can be lethal or in worst cases fatal. Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related, and 40% involved commercial vehicles. (Source: think.direct.gov.uk)
However, studies have shown that drivers don’t fall asleep without warning.
Go to the Think website for advice and tips on how to prevent falling asleep at the wheel.
In a crash you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt and research suggests that people are less likely to wear a seatbelt on short or familiar journeys, putting themselves at risk. (Source: think.direct.gov.uk)
The law requiring all drivers to wear their seatbelts came into force over 30 years ago on 31 January 1983 and drivers caught without a seatbelt face on-the-spot fines of £100 or a maximum of £500 if they are successfully prosecuted.
Go to the Think website for more information regarding using a seat belt as well as an online crash simulator which shows what happens if you choose not to wear one.
There is some confusion regarding the use of child car seats but the law is clear, children must normally use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 cm tall, whichever comes first.
Even in a minor crash, an unrestrained child would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and others. They could be thrown from the car through one of the windows.
To find out more and for full details regarding what type of child restraint your child needs visit www.childcarseats.org.uk
The rules regarding the use of child car seats can also be found on the Gov.uk website.
In the last 50 years road casualties caused by drink driving have fallen dramatically, but in 2014, there were still 240 deaths due to drink driving – accounting for 14% of all road fatalities. By drinking and driving, you risk your life, those of your passengers and others on the road. Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. You risk a fine of up to £5,000, a minimum 12-month driving ban and a criminal record.
What the law says
There are strict alcohol limits for UK drivers:
- 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
- 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
- 107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
For more information visit the Think website.
It is illegal to drive if your driving is impaired by legal or illegal drugs.
If the police stop you and think you are on drugs they can carry out a roadside test that makes it easier to detect those who are driving under the influence of illegal drugs.
The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If you are convicted you will receive:
- A minimum 12-month driving ban
- A criminal record
- A fine of up to £5000 or up to six months in prison or both.
For more information visit the Think website where there is also advice on driving whilst taking prescription medication.
Using a handheld mobile phone when driving is dangerous and illegal.
The penalties for holding and using your phone while driving has recently increased and you would now receive six points and a £200 fine.
Statistics show you are four times more likely to have an accident if you use a mobile phone while driving.
Find out more on the Think website.
The difference of a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death.
The faster someone is driving, the less time they have to stop if something unexpected happens.
If you kill someone while speeding, you will have to live with the long-term emotional consequences.
Speed limits are there for a reason.
More information can be found on the Think website.
Motorcycling is an increasingly popular form of transport but motorcyclists are also one of the most vulnerable road users.
Motorcyclists are just 1% of total road traffic, but account for 19% of all road user deaths.
There are some simple tips and advice to consider to keep both motorists and motorcyclists safe on the roads which can be found on the Think website.
More and more people are taking to the roads on their bicycles as a means of transport and as a leisure or fitness activity to improve their health, do their bit for the environment and also save money.
Since 2010 the number of cyclists killed on our roads has fallen to its lowest level on record.
Go to the Think website for tips and advice on staying safe on your bicycle and when sharing the road with cyclists.