In this blog post I am going to explore seven driver safety reminders that we should all be obeying, but many are guilty of not following!
Unfortunately road safety is something that a lot of people take for granted. I drive most days and every single time I see people driving inconsiderately or dangerously. Just last week I had someone driving two inches behind my car which wound me up a treat. I do try to stay calm when other drivers are being erratic or trying to speed as I don’t want their anger to make me angry. It’s best to stay calm and ignore. But this time it was particularly bothering me as I had both children in the back of the car!
Not only was it off-putting to my driving as I could see a car so close to me in my rear-view mirror, but I was worried if I needed to suddenly brake or stop then I’d have a car in my boot which could injure my children. Grrr! Plus there'd be all the hassle of making an auto insurance claim just because someone was too impatient to drive at the speed limit and allow a safe distance between our cars. All I can assume is that the driver was impatient and wanted to speed. I was driving at the speed limit and that wasn’t good enough for him so he was trying to force me to drive faster.
I’m not sure if it’s just my area, but this happens to me all the time and always on the same roads where people regularly drive 10-20mph over the speed limit. If someone wants to drive obeying the law then give them room to breathe and don’t try to force your law breaking habits onto them! Back off and give enough space!
7 road safety tips for drivers
To stay safe on the road, it's important to consider the following 7 reminders:
1. No phones
Yep, number one, no phones! I still see people all the time chatting away on their phones whilst driving! I saw a man not paying any attention whilst REVERSING near my home the other day onto a pavement when there were children everywhere in the summer holidays. Pay attention! It’s so dangerous to not have the use of both of your hands whilst driving. How can you steer and change gear if you have a phone in your hand by your ear? Be sensible and put it down whilst driving.
2. Slow down for speedbumps
Speedbumps are there for a reason. Slow down. Don’t fly over them at normal speed or whilst speeding. They are often in areas with parks and schools where children could be present, so there is a reason for slowing you down. Not slowing down can cause damage to your car, particularly to the exhaust. It’s also possible to hit the exhaust of this is very low on your car or needs repairing, so it’s a good idea to get your exhaust fixed if it scrapes speedbumps. Don’t wait for it to fall off! If you’re in London then you can get your exhaust fitted locally at Iverson’s London Branch, or if too far then search for a reputable car garage nearer to home.
3. Don’t speed
Speed limits are there for a reason and you should never speed. It’s breaking the law. It makes it more difficult and dangerous for cars to pull out of junctions on to the road you are speeding on, especially on country roads with blind corners. Speeding also increases your braking distance which puts lives at danger.
4. Strap up
It’s the law for a good reason. Wear your seatbelt. I’ve known four people to lose their lives due to not wearing their seatbelts in three different car crashes. My school friend died in a car crash when she was 19 and everyone else in the car had whiplash as well as minor injuries, but she was thrown out of the back windscreen as she wasn’t strapped in. She suffered fatal head injuries. It’s no joke – strap up. You’re also putting other passengers at risk if you are flung across the car in a crash.
5. Check your tyres
There are lots of ways to easily check the safety of your tyres at home such as:
- Tread: the minimum legal tread is 1.6mm, though this low may not be safe enough in wet conditions so you may want to replace the tyres once they are below 3mm.
- Pressure: A quick check online will tell you the correct tyre pressure for your car. We have a portable pump which we can keep at home or in the car boot, but you can also get air for free or for a small fee at most petrol stations.
- Wear and tear: If your tyres look old and worn, they probably are! Pop into your local true shop to ask for their advice and get a new tyre if need be.
- Punctures: Make sure nothing is stuck in your tyres. We once had to change one of Ben’s tyres as a nail had punctured it and it was slowly going down.
6. Service your car 1-2 times per year
I am absolutely guilty of this one, for the excuse that I don’t use my car very much. However we have started to use my car more and Ben is even using it a few days for work each week so I’ll be servicing it much more regularly now. A car services will ensure the car is well maintained and can prevent a breakdown. It can also highlight other issues that might not otherwise be spotted until your next MOT. A full service should be booked once per year and a mini service six months after this if you drive your car on a regular basis or for long distances.
This is a new one I have noticed recently. I even asked my husband if there was a new rule that meant we no longer had to indicate! I was trying to explain to my six year old how to cross the road safely and showing how cars indicate when they are turning corners, yet the next three cars we looked at failed to indicate! I’m not quite sure why so many cars thing they shouldn’t indicate, but it’s a massive safety risk to pedestrians as well as other vehicles if you fail to indicate.
It often happens at roundabouts too and just recently a car was not indicating to go around the roundabout so I assumed they were coming off and I entered the roundabout only for them to swing round. It’s quite simple – use your indicators when you are meant to so pedestrians, bikes and cars know where you are planning to go!