How to protect yourself and your loved ones on the road

Roads can be dangerous places. In 2022 the UK saw 1,766 people killed in road traffic accidents, and 28,941 were seriously injured. With these worrying statistics, it is important that you know how to keep yourself and your family safe on the road. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Defensive driving tips

Part of being a safe driver is staying alert for hazards and potential issues. This means you should try and anticipate actions that could cause you harm. Safe stopping distances, avoiding distractions and scanning the road ahead are all good practices to keep.

Driving at a safe distance behind other cars is important. If there was a crash in front of you having a safe distance to stop could avoid you being part of the wreckage. The stopping distance will depend on the speed you are travelling and the conditions you are driving in.

Car seat safety

When you are planning for the birth of a baby, car seats will be one of the top priorities. Seatbelts do not fit small children correctly due to their size and physical shape, so car seats help to keep them safe in the event of an accident.

In the UK, a car seat must be used until the child is 12 years old or taller than 135 centimetres. Installing the car seat properly is important so make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you want peace of mind then there are lots of high street stores that offer a fitting demonstration. Were you to borrow a car or rent one, it is important that you feel confident in installing it again. An additional safety measure is car insurance. Even if you are borrowing the vehicle temporarily, get one-day car insurance to be on the safe side.

If you are unlucky enough to have been in an accident, then your car seat should be replaced. Whilst it can be tempting to buy second hand, safety charities do not recommend it as you cannot be certain it hasn’t been in an accident previously.

Adverse weather conditions

Living in the UK means the weather can turn in a split second so you will need to be prepared to adjust your driving.

Before you leave for any length journey, but especially in winter, check your vehicle is in good working order. Making sure components such as brakes, windshield wipers and tires are all functioning properly will help to prevent any breakdowns.

Driving in the snow is a unique experience. If you find yourself driving in snow, slow down and make sure your headlights are fully on. When it comes to stopping distances, you should leave 10 times the space you normally would as snow and ice can make cars slide.

Mist and fog are challenging too, especially first thing in the morning when it is darker. Ensure you use your fog lights and your air conditioning to prevent your windows from steaming up, reducing visibility further.

 

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