Rebecca was recently on BBC Radio 4 talking live about the threat of prosecuting drivers for going just 1mph over the speed limit. Since that piece went out she’s been asked for her tips on how drivers can stay safe on the roads.
In addition to sticking to the speed limit, here are Rebecca’s seven top tips on how you can be a safer driver:
Ensure your car is serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines
A well maintained car is statistically less likely to breakdown and cause a potentially hazardous situation. If you do breakdown, make sure you follow proper protocol by wearing hi-vis vests, placing a warning triangle where safe, and moving away from the car to call for assistance.
Don’t use your phone while driving
This is a punishable offence so while you’re risking your driving licence, you’re also putting people in danger because your attention is diverted away from the road.
Leave enough time for your journey so that you are calm and relaxed
If you’re stressed and rushing, you’re more likely to drive fast and take unnecessary risks. High stress levels impair our judgement so make sure you leave plenty of time to make your journey.
Plan your journey
This could be selecting a podcast or music playlist to listen to as well as planning your route and checking if you have enough fuel. This helps you to calculate the appropriate time (see point above) but also negates the need to fiddle with your stereo or other distractions once you’re already on the road.
Follow some simple maintenance tasks regularly
These include checking tyre tread (legal limit is 1.6mm which is the outer edge of a 20p coin) and pressure, screen wash level, operation of lights and oil level. Is your car clean? Ensure all lights and your number plate are not covered in dirt.
Be a courteous driver and aware of other road users
The more courteous and patient you are, the less likely you are to get stressed when on the road. Being aware of other drivers and their movements also helps you to plan ahead while driving and avoid any potentially dangerous situations.
Be strong enough to ask your passengers to hush if their noise levels start to distract you
Everyone will want to get to their destination safely so, if you need to, ask passengers to keep it down. Unnecessary distractions can draw your focus away from the road and what’s happening around you, this can be dangerous at high speeds or when trying to navigate through a new area.
Hopefully you have found these to be useful points in helping you become a safer driver. For more tips and advice, follow me on Twitter: @rebeccaracer