Road risks depend on what, where and how you drive. A recent survey conducted regarding road safety revealed some dangerous results against practicing safe driving habits in the UK. Among the 5000 motorists, 31% admitted to eat or drink while sitting behind the wheels, 28% of them mentioned that they are generally exhausted when they drive while 26% broke speed limits every now and then. The survey further suggested that 13% of the motorist used cell phones while driving and about 10% of them did not wear seatbelts while driving.
It has been observed that multitasking has become a part of our existence and many of us are ready to compromise road safety just to make the journeys more efficient. With the ever growing automobile industry, road safety has been a long time concern for the Department of Transport, UK and driving regulations are being revised every now and then to minimize road accidents. Below are listed some of the best tips for being safe on the UK roads.
Regulate your speed
Speed limits are set on the road keeping the best interest of the motorists in mind. Make it a habit to drive just below the given speed limit and keep a close tab of the speedometer, especially when you switch from one driving arena to the other. In most areas, the speed limit is 30mph. Use the cruise control to effectively regulate speed. Leave about 10 minutes earlier than usual everyday in order to avoid speeding last moment.
It is always advisable to keep a safe distance from the vehicles ahead of you. Tailgating is an irritable practice and majority of the tailgaters get away with the offence as they are not stopped by the police. This gives makes them least perspective about the possible dangers of following a vehicle up too close. If you are being followed by a tailgater, pull over and let the car pass. Maintaining a constant speed and avoiding frequent braking will enhance road safety and prevent the motorists behind you from getting confused about your intentions.
Avoid operating other gadgets while driving
Using your cell phone to call or text while driving can lead to dire consequences as you are expected to impart100% concentration on the road ahead. Gadgets should be a strict no no while you drive. To maintain road safety, keep them away when you sit behind the wheels.
Signalling to the fellow motorists about your actions is a great driving practice for road safety. Indicators can be effectively used when you change lanes, take a left or right turn, overtake vehicles, joining or driving away from motorways or pulling over to stop. Use the flashlights when you are driving at nights through roads which are not appropriately illuminated.
Illegal parking can cost you a fortune and can take months to reverse; therefore it is imperative to park right and park safe to increase road safety. Understand the parking rules clearly. For example: you cannot park on double yellow lines and you cannot even stop on double red lines. Watch your wheels while you park because even if there is a single wheel out of the defined area, you might be given a parking ticket. Never park in front of entrances, emergency exit, taxi rank, bus stops or any other areas where there could be a possibility of an assembly.
The roads have no dearth of dreamers and the distracted on the roads. It is advisable to not be one amongst them if you care about road safety. Concentrating on the road ahead helps you anticipate any forthcoming dangers and take actions accordingly. Keep a tab of the vehicles moving ahead as well as the ones coming behind you. Watch out for pedestrians or cyclists at all times. It is important to adapt your driving to the road conditions for increased road safety.
Wear seat belts
Seat belts are one of the foremost accessories of road safety. They secure you during crashes by preventing you from being thrown around the inside of the car or out through the windshield. The law in the UK states that every driver must use a seat belt while commuting. You can be fined up to GBP 500 if you are caught not wearing a seat belt. Children up to the age of 12 years (or 135 cm in height) must use an appropriate child seat in the car.
Use fog lights during winters foggy roads
The law in the UK enables you to use lights if visibility falls to less than 100 meters. You might not be able see but the lights will assist your fellow drivers to spot you. Make use of the front fog lights which will help you see the road better. If the fog is way too thick, refrain from making a journey right away. If you are concerned about road safety, pull over and enjoy a cup of coffee!
Pay attention to your vehicle maintenance
Conducting simple but regular checks to keep your car in a good shape is crucial. Increase your awareness about how to use jumper cables or a wrench and always be on the look out for any warning signs in your vehicle.
It has been observed that numerous motorists do not know how to check the oil level or do not carry basic tools such as car battery charger or a tyre pump. A basic knowledge about how to maintain your car can be quite handy during emergencies.
Never drink and drive
Each year about 100,000 drivers are convicted for drink or drug driving and about 3500 people are either severely injured or killed due to accidents caused by drink or drug related accidents. 22% of the deaths caused due to road accidents in the UK are because of crashes caused by the influence of drugs. Implications for drink and drug driving could be far reaching with penalties up to GBP 5000 and voiding of the driving licence.
Roads in the UK are considered to be one of the best in the world, however road safety is still not the best as deaths by road accidents still happen everyday. Commuting is an important aspect of our daily life. Being safe and keeping fellow drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe while travelling on the roads is everyone’s duty.