Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, involving thousands of schools, organisations and communities each year. In the spirit of Road Safety Week this week’s tips give advice on those often overlooked road safety issues and how to stay safe driving and riding on the road, from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.
- Slow down around schools and in residential areas. This may not be rocket science but it’s easily forgotten whilst rat running on the morning commute. If you want to be on time simply leave earlier. Remember we have speed limits, not targets, and in busy traffic ’20 is often plenty’.
- Seatbelts are a must. If you are the driver it’s your duty to ensure all passengers are wearing their seatbelts. Passengers over 14 are responsible for their own seatbelts but it is you as the driver who will be stopped. Take charge and tell them all to ‘belt up’. With that in mind loose items in a car can become projectiles in a crash as can an unrestrained passenger. Keep your car tidy and store bags or tools in the boot.
- Jumping red lights. We have all seen drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists do this but the traffic lights are there for all of our safety. If they have been green for some time, plan for them to change and be ready to stop.
- Keep to the speed limit. Rushing from junction to junction or hold up to hold up is often counterproductive. Why ‘hurry up to wait’? A 50 mile journey at 80mph will save you at most six minutes compared to the same distance at 70mph. Is it worth the stress and the extra fuel?
- The dangers of hand-held mobile phones are well known but taking or making calls by Bluetooth can be just as distracting. Switching the phone off when you get behind the wheel allows you to concentrate fully on perfecting your driving skills.
- Dazzle from low sun is a factor in more crashes than dazzle from headlights. Keep your windscreen clean and don’t put those sunglasses away just yet.
- It is legal for motorcyclists to filter through traffic so give them space and never try to deliberately block them. Check carefully before changing lanes.
Richard said: “Most delays on our main roads are caused by accidents and breakdowns. Prevention is so much easier than cure. Check the car over before your journey, keep your distance, manage your speed and we can all have an incident-free week, year and lifetime.”