It’s easy to switch off when you get behind the wheel of a car and this can inevitably lead to accidents. Many of us have not been driving as much during the pandemic but with lockdown being eased more and more of us are starting to drive again.
After a lengthy time not driving it is always useful to refresh your memory, so legal service provider First4Lawyers have put together this useful guide to help remind yourself of some useful road safety advice to help you avoid having a road traffic accident. Here are some tips on how to stay safe.
Watch your speed
Driving at a reasonable speed is the single most important thing you can do to stay safe on the roads for you and others. Driving well within the speed limits gives you more time to respond to hazards such as if people unexpectedly walk into your path. Slowing down is particularly important in bad weather, on bends or on the brow of a hill.
Don’t drink or take drugs
It may sound obvious, but even the smallest amount of alcohol or drugs can affect your ability to drive and could lead to a life-changing road traffic accident. The easiest way to stay safe is to not have any intoxicating substances at all before you get behind the wheel. It is also important that your body has got rid of any alcohol or drugs from your system before driving the next day.
Wear a seat belt
There is no excuse for not wearing a seat belt as they are simple to put on and can save your life. Seat belts prevent you from being thrown out of the vehicle in the event of an RTA.
Make sure your car is well maintained
Car maintenance is essential to keep yourself safe on the road. Regularly walk around your vehicle once a week and before long journeys ensuring you check tyres, lights, oil, water and fluids, wiper blades and wheel fixings.
Don’t use a mobile phone
Calling, texting or using the internet on a phone while driving are incredibly risky. Research shows that your reactions are 50% slower and you are four times as likely to have a road traffic accident if you are on your mobile phone while driving.
Make sure your eyesight is good enough
It is vital that your eyesight is sufficiently good enough to drive. Not being able to see properly led to 196 accidents in the UK in 2018, including three deaths. Not having good enough eyesight puts lives at risk and it is essential you get your eyes tested every two years.
Don’t drive tired
Fatigue is a major killer on the roads. In 2018 tiredness contributed to 62 fatal accidents and more than 1,500 RTAs on UK roads. Nodding off at the wheel can have catastrophic consequences, while tiredness increases your reaction times.