Monday 6 August 2018

Drive Safely, It’s In Your Hands

When learning to drive people have to pass their theory and practical driving test. The tests highlight a person's understanding of road safety and ability to drive in a safe and correct manner.

Once the 'L’ plates have been ripped up and a full driving licence granted it us up to us individuals on the road to adhere to driving laws and take responsibility for driving safe.

As a driver it is one's own responsibility to drive safely, as the safety of ourselves along with passengers, other road users and pedestrians can be affected by our actions.

With that mind as car and driving safety should be a top priority here are a few tips on things we should remember and/or deal with to stay safe in the roads -

Buckle Up
Seatbelts are important safety features. They are designed to help protect a driver or passenger in a collision and minimize the risk of injuries either preventing injuries or reducing the severity of injuries. They work but minimising the amount of contact a person has with the interior of the vehicle as well as reducing the risk of being ejected from the vehicle. Seatbelts are created to work with other safety features in a vehicle such as airbags and head restraints, which will not work as effective in keeping occupants safe if they are not wearing a seatbelt.

Whilst a wearing seatbelt is not a 100% guarantee that injury or worse will not happen, by wearing one you reduce the risk significantly and any injuries are usually less serious than if you were not wearing a seatbelt. Those who do not wear their seatbelts put themselves at a heightened risk of severe injury or even death.

Ensuring children are in car seats is also imperative to ensure their safety. Not only is it important that they use a car seat but that the car seat is fitted correctly and is appropriate and suitable for the child.

The importance of wearing a seatbelt is highlighted by the fact that it is the law in the UK to be wearing one. Passengers 14 years old or over are legally responsible for wearing a seatbelt and for passengers under 14 years old it is the driver’s legal responsibility to ensure they are using an appropriate child car seat/booster seat or a seat belt. You can be fined up to £500 if you don’t wear a seat belt when you’re supposed to and a driver can be fined up to £500 if a child under 14 isn’t in the correct car seat or wearing a seatbelt while they are driving.

Tyres can greatly affect driving, both in a positive and negative way. Tyres in good condition helps ensure a smooth ride and improves petrol condition. On the other hand tyres that are not in good condition and are worn or under-inflated impacts driving safety as they reduce the ability to control the car and increase the risk of a tyre blowing whilst driving which can be catastrophic.

As part of being a responsible driver it is imperative that you check the condition of your vehicle’s tyre on a regular basis  - tyre pressure, tread depth, overall condition ensuring there are no defects or damage and that tyres are fit for purpose. If tyres are worn, damaged or are close to the legal tread depth limit get tyres at the best local prices at Iverson Tyres London Branch.

Tyres play such a vital role to safe driving that there are important and specific legal requirements relating to their condition and maintenance. If tyres are not fit for purpose, are different sizes on the same axle or have passed the legal tread depth limit they will cause your car to fail its MOT. Also if tyres are found to below the legal minimum tread depth limit of 1.6mm in the UK the police have the power to issue up to a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre. Illegal tyres can also invalidate your car insurance.

Whilst it can be hard to limit all distractions for safe driving it is important to avoid distractions as they can increase the risk of dangerous driving or an accident happening.

Even though it is not illegal to eat or drink (non alcoholic drinks) and drive at the same time doing so can be distracting, cause carelessness, reduce your reaction times and impact your ability to drive in safe manner. Whilst it is no illegal to eat/drink and drive if you are displaying lack of control of your vehicle, careless or dangerous driving while snacking/drinking behind the wheel you risk the police prosecuting you for careless driving.

Driving and making a phone call can be distracting and can reduce your concentration on the road which can impact your safety on the road. The way you make or take a phone call depends on whether it is illegal or not. Using a voice controlled bluetooth, hands-free mobile phone system where you do not touch the phone at all is not illegal. If however you touch the phone even to activate a call then you are breaking the law. Even though a phone call can drastically reduce concentration and be a distraction it is not the speaking that illegal but the physical operation of your phone. Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving is illegal and is punishable by six points on your licence and a £200 fine.

So please remember to look after your car; ensure it is in safe driving condition, serviced regularly, MOT’d, insured and taxed. Keep safe on the roads for your sake and the sake of passengers, other road users and pedestrians. Keeping a car in a good roadworthy condition and driving in a safe manner is your responsibility as a driver.

Stay safe on the roads and enjoy your travels!

* Collaborative post *

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