Drive with caution
Be prepared for the unexpected – never assume that other drivers will drive sensibly, with consideration for those around them or behave rationally on the road. Expect people to make mistakes and for some to just be bad drivers.
Ensure that you are aware of what is going on around you at all times. Make sure your windscreen and headlamps are clean and in good condition so that you have a good view of the road ahead and your surroundings. Remember to check your mirrors and signal before moving.
Keep your vehicle in good condition
Keep your car in good working order at all times. There are a few essentials that you can easily keep an eye on yourself, such as making sure that your tyres have a good amount of tread on them, keeping your screen-wash topped-up and making sure your wipers work properly. It is important to have an annual MOT test to check your vehicle is legal to drive and roadworthy. You should also have a regular service on your vehicle to make sure it is checked-over and kept in good working order. The MOT test and a service will usually identify any issues, but if there are other items that you unsure of or have concerns about, speak to an expert and get your car properly checked.
Don’t let stress affect your driving. If you are feeling stressed, where possible, stop somewhere safe and take a break. Getting angry or annoyed with other drivers will just distract you from driving safely and it may even lead to confrontation. Bad drivers are a fact of life, if you come across one just keep calm, keep your distance, don’t be drawn into an argument, and don’t let them spoil your day.
Don’t rush or be impatient
If you are running late don’t take risks on the road. What might save a few seconds travelling – is usually not worth it, so keep to the speed limits and don’t overtake unless its safe and sensible to do so. Don’t intimidate slow drivers by flashing your headlights or tailgating.
Concentrate – Don’t be distracted
Focus your concentration on your driving, not on your passengers, mobile phone, sat nav, radio, or sound system. Using your mobile phone whilst driving is illegal and if caught using it the penalty carries a fine and points on your licence. If it rings, indicate and pull over in a safe place and turn you engine off. If you miss a call, just call them back!
Fatigue can be a dangerous and cause you to lose your concentration. If you find your concentration wandering, stop somewhere have a break, perhaps a coffee and a rest will refresh your mind.
Respect speed limits and the weather conditions
Always keep within the speed limits.Driving at speed means you are less likely to be able to stop in time if you encounter an unexpected hazard. Always drive at a speed that is appropriate for the weather conditions to reduce the risk of having an accident. Stopping distances increase significantly when road surfaces are wet or icy, and in foggy or conditions where visibility is impaired you should significantly reduce your speed.
Watch out for pedestrians
Be aware, stay alert and watch out for pedestrians – especially in urban areas on country roads where there may not be a footpath along the side of the road. Watch out for children emerging from between parked cars.
Watch out for motorbikes, scooters and cyclists
We share our roads with two wheelers – like motorbikes, scooters and bicycles are easy to miss. At junctions and when changing lanes take extra care to check your mirrors, look around you and watch out for your blind spot. If you want to overtake make sure there is enough space to pass safely – allow plenty of space because they may swerve or wobble.
Watch out for animals
Our country roads take extra care to watch out for horses and their riders. Pass them wide and slow so as not to spook horses and frighten them. Be wary of smaller animals in the road. Always try to avoid them where possible, but remember that you should only try to avoid them if it does not put you or another road user in danger.