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Road Safety Awareness Week – Let’s drive back to basics

This week we’ve been supporting Brake’s Road Safety Awareness Week to encourage everyone to improve their awareness of road safety and ensure that when on the streets, they’re staying safe. This year’s Road Safety Awareness theme is Step Up for the Streets, and we’re encouraging drivers to go back to basics as we know it is easy to fall into bad habits after you have passed your driving test.

Below we have highlighted 5 easy steps that you can take to improve your safety on the road.

1. Plan and allow enough time

We often embark on a road journey with a destination in mind and the popular idea is to get from one place to another, as quickly as possible. It is, however, crucial to plan our journeys ahead and allow enough time to get from one place to another. If possible, try to allow yourself a little extra time for unforeseen circumstances such as traffic congestion or unexpected road works. This will allow you to avoid rushing around whilst out on the road.

2. Avoid distractions 

Driving styles have changed and more and more electronics and gadgets are being sold, be it Bluetooth devices, satnavs, dashcams or cameras. The distractions and urges of social media and using applications such as Facebook and Snapchat on the move are often something road-users must battle with, despite there being clear UK Laws in place to discourage such activity. A quick split-second distraction from the road ahead could lead to catastrophic and sometimes fatal outcomes. It is therefore advisable to avoid using electronics, gadgets and any form of social media whilst on the go. A personal tried and tested method has been to lock away any such distractions in the glove compartment or out of sight when driving.

3. Be cautious of road conditions

Whilst it’s often easier to think that icy, snowing or wet road conditions cause accidents, the record number of Road Traffic Accidents happen in the summer when the weather is usually better. It is advisable to ensure our vehicles are kept in check; one step we can put in place is simply checking that the tyre pressure and tyre treads are correct. Whilst it’s important to drive slowly and carefully in bad weather, it is equally as important to ensure our vehicles are well ventilated and cool in warm weather.

4. Maintain a safe distance away from the vehicle in front

Equally important in all types of weather, it is crucial to maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. The safer the space between vehicles, the easier it is to come to halt when needed. It is better to stay calm and maintain a safe distance than to risk rear-end shunting the car in front in case of an emergency stop, potentially increasing insurance premiums and loss of no claims bonus.

5. Avoid being tired

In our busy and hectic lives, it is often difficult to ensure adequate rest times between journeys. Be it a good night sleep or rest breaks between long journeys, these often take a second consideration when it comes to getting out on the road. It is therefore useful to ensure you have had adequate overnight rest if you are planning early journeys which could mean hitting the sheets earlier than you normally do, or taking regular comfort breaks when driving long distances.