This Road Safety Week (16-22 November 2020) the theme is No Need for Speed. We've pulled together these tips for safer driving.
No need for speed
Speed contributes to one in five fatal crashes in the UK. Small increases in speed lead to bigger increases in stopping distances, and a crash at 30mph involves twice as much energy and destructive potential as a crash at 20mph.
At slower speeds, drivers have better vehicle control, more time to see and avoid hazards, and greater ability to stop in time and avoid a crash.
- Never exceed local speed limits. Adapt speed to 20mph in built up and residential areas.
- Drive at safe and appropriate speeds in adverse weather conditions.
Take longer to look
Failing to look properly is a very common cause of road accidents, but is a relatively easy fix.
- Take an extra moment to have a proper look at what's around you and what's coming before pulling out of a road, changing lanes or opening your car door while stationary.
- Try the Dutch Reach: Open the car door with the hand furthest from the handle so that you turn your head to look behind you, helping you to see approaching cyclists. The more you do this, the more it will become a habit.
Boost your energy levels
There’s a clear relationship between the food and drink you consume and your energy levels. The right food and drink can help to reduce fatigue and increase concentration.
- Staying hydrated, eating nutritious food and sticking to a balanced diet, can keep your mind focused on the road.
- Think: is your lunch going to boost your energy levels or leave you feeling sluggish?
Anticipate other road users
The Highway Code says: “Wait until there is a safe gap between you and any oncoming vehicle.”
- Try to judge the path and speed of other vehicles when on the road. Many accidents occur because a driver misjudges a gap when merging onto a motorway, pulling on to a roundabout or thinking that another road user will accommodate a risky move.
- Maintain safe following distance from the vehicle in front.
Don’t get distracted
Distractions inside your vehicle, as well as outside, can reduce your concentration.
- Using a mobile phone while driving (even if it’s hands-free) is a factor in many accidents. Park up to make or respond to a call.
- Resist the urge to respond to an incoming text message – it’s not worth the risk. Reading or tapping out texts while driving can be lethal.
- Bring your mind back to the road instead of attempting to multi-task.
The Knowledge Centre, from Brake, the road safety charity – everything you want to know about road safety risks and the law
Driving for Better Business – videos for drivers, including a 20-point vehicle check and getting back on the road after lockdown