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Road Safety Week 2019: Tips for safe driving

To mark Road Safety Awareness Week we’ve compiled some road safety facts and tips that might surprise you…

Always try to stay focussed when stuck in traffic.

Always try to stay focussed when stuck in traffic.

When was the last time you brushed up on your road safety knowledge?

According to a new survey from road safety charity Break, nearly a third of adults were in a collision, or had a near miss, with a vehicle on a UK road in the past year.

So to help you to know what to look out for to avoid an accident, as part of Road Safety Week, we’ve put together some facts and tips to keep you and other road users safe while you’re on the move.

Think, don’t drink

With the festive seasons almost upon us, please don’t be tempted to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking. We’ve already outlined just how little you would need to drink to be over the limit, but did you know that the cost of a drink-driving conviction can be up to £50,000? The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ estimate takes into consideration the cost of solicitors’ fees, fines, car insurance increases and a job loss through drink-driving. Kind of makes you think twice about driving home after the office Christmas party, doesn’t it?

You snooze, you lose

Fatigue causes some of the deadliest road accidents in Britain and it’s no surprise that the most common time for sleep-related accidents is early in the morning. But you might feel the urge to take a power nap at the wheel after a heavy lunch; with mid-afternoon being the next most common window for these types of accidents. If you find yourself yawning or struggling to keep your eyes open, pull over straight away. Don't fall into the trap of cracking open a window or grabbing a quick coffee to tackle tiredness. The only thing that can prevent a sleep-related accident is rest. Get some. Preferably away from your car.

Do the Dutch reach!

The number of people cycling to work has increased by a quarter over the last 20 years, but with winter on the way, cyclists can be difficult to spot even when they take steps to be more visible. One way you can prevent an accident is to use the ‘Dutch reach’ when exiting your vehicle. Just use your left hand to open your door, giving a quick check over your shoulder beforehand. Do the reach, and no-one gets hurt – simple!

Don’t phone it in

Do you use your phone for navigation? It may not be illegal to do this if you have your phone in a fixed position, but tinkering with it instead of focusing on the road can slow your reaction times twice as much as drink-driving. Not only that, if you’re caught using your phone while driving, you can get a £200 fixed penalty notice and six penalty points. Even if your phone is in a fixed position, if your view of the road is impaired or you’re not in full control of your vehicle, this could lead to three penalty points, too. We recommend setting your destination before you leave and using screen mirroring such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto so that you never have to touch your phone while you’re driving.

About the Author

Laura Halbert