The law states that it’s illegal to drive or ride a vehicle dangerously on the roads, which means not paying attention to or ensuring the safety of other people on the road. From breaking the speed limit to ignoring traffic lights and road signs, careless driving can result in a fine of up to £5,000£5,000, with dangerous driving leading to imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
You should do everything you can to ensure that you’re practising safe driving on the roads at all times. To help you with knowing what to be wary of, we’ve put together a list of our best tips.
Don’t get distracted
According to statistics collected in 2019, road accidents caused by distractions in the vehicle resulted in 614 serious accidents and 65 fatal accidents. Using your phone whilst driving creates a massive risk, and this must be avoided at all costs. If you do need to make a call in an emergency, find a safe place to pull over instead, or use a hands-free device.
Other potential distractions within the vehicle include having too many passengers in the back, which can increase activity levels, along with eating and drinking whilst driving. Food spills can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, so instead, make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of time before setting off to eat. Alternatively, stop off at a service station if you’re hungry on the motorway.
Your chances of getting into a road accident significantly increase when you’re too close to the vehicle in front of you, so make sure to use the three second rule. Encouraged by the National Safety Council, consider the time taken to stop, rather than focussing on available space. Although the standard time is 2.5 seconds, 3 seconds adds a little extra to ensure your safety. Your braking distance can also be impacted when getting distracted, either by factors inside or outside your vehicle, so ensure that you follow the previous step to practice safe driving.
Maintain good distance
Evaluate the weather
However, be warned that three seconds won’t always be enough stoppage time, particularly if you’re driving in harsh weather conditions. Rain, fog and snow reduce your ability to see, alongside increasing your vehicle’s braking distance, so bear in mind that the regular amount of time needed to stop will be at least double.
Plan your journeys beforehand
Particularly in instances where the weather is bad, always plan your journeys before taking to the roads. You’ll need to allow for decreased speed to avoid skidding on the roads, or for de-icing your windscreen to ensure that you can clearly see everything going on around you.
Not only this, planning your journeys will cause less stress. By being aware of how to safely reach your destination within enough time, you’ll be preventing the risk of careless driving - which is more likely to happen if you’re in a rush. You’ll also avoid getting caught up in congestion or road works, plus you’ll save time and fuel in the process. It’s a win-win situation.
Rather than simply keeping tabs on the vehicle in front of you, anticipate what’s about to happen by looking ahead to the furthest point you can see along the road. Carefully observe the behaviour of drivers to determine what they’re about to do, whilst looking out for any road signs that are coming up, so that you can adjust your vehicle accordingly - within plenty of time.
Never drive when you’re tired
Tiredness reduces your concentration levels and increases reaction time, and falling asleep at the wheel can lead to fatal consequences. If you do end up feeling tired on the road, stop off at a service station to re-energise yourself. Taking regular breaks, a well ventilated vehicle, and eating healthy energy snacks can all contribute to giving you a much needed boost. Above all, make sure that you get plenty of sleep the night before setting off on your travels.
Get your vehicle checked
Your car should undergo regular maintenance to ensure your safety on the roads, and you must always keep an eye out for any unusual changes. If you’re noticing strange noises coming from your vehicle when driving, or any structural damage - such as cracks in the windscreen or a puncture - this definitely isn’t something to be ignored.
It’s inevitable that your vehicle will endure wear and tear over time, but if the occasional issue starts to become a regular occurrence, it might be time to treat yourself to a new motor.Scrapping your car is a cost-effective, sustainable solution to this, and you can put your earnings towards a brand new vehicle. Or, for those who are in search of used car parts, our selection can cater to a range of makes and models. With plenty to take your pick from, you’ll be able to enhance your motor’s aesthetic in no time.
Look out for road signs and markings
You should always keep a beady eye out for road signs and markings to ensure your safety on the roads. These will allow you to predict how dangerous certain areas are; the more there are, the more careful you should be. By anticipating your actions and looking ahead for any signs or markings, rather than risking slamming on your brakes, you’ll be protecting yourself, your passengers and those around you.
Control your speed
Linking in with the previous point, road signs will indicate certain speed limits, which you must always stay within. The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine, along with three penalty points added to your licence, and it could lead to irreversible consequences.
Likewise, driving too slowly on the roads also poses a significant risk, as you could end up tempting other drivers into risky manoeuvres, and you’re more likely to be overtaken. Therefore, remain cautious and maintain a sensible speed.
Here at Autosave, we want to ensure your safety on the roads. For those that are in need of a vehicle or car part replacement, we have cost-effective services to help - from scrapping cars to showcasing a range of used car parts. Get in touch with us today to find out more.