You might be going on holiday, driving to a fun-filled day out, or travelling to a party with your friends.
Even driving your daily commute to work can be a great thing because no-one likes waiting in the rain for buses and trains – no more adhering to timetables and suffering unexpected cancellations.
Yet, when you take your car out on the road you are part of a system involving lots of other people in their cars, and you are subject to the conditions you find out there. Sometimes driving can be dangerous.
Distracted driving is a killer
We know we’re stating the obvious but UK roads are busy places. When there are lots of other road users about, including pedestrians, the potential for a collision increases and the driver needs to be focused on the road at all times.
Even on rural roads, where there may be little or no traffic, the potential for the unexpected – such as an animal jumping out or a sudden and sharp bend in the road – means that accidents may occur.
So, what happens if the driver is distracted – they take their eyes off the road, they stop concentrating on the cars around them, they don’t see the car ahead braking. At 70mph this means trouble.
Many serious and fatal road accidents are caused each year as a result of distracted driving. Sometimes there is no-one else involved. All it takes is one moment of reduced concentration and a car can be off the road - crashing into a lamp post, a wall or even a child.
Little things make a big difference
Some motorists, especially new drivers, may not realise they are committing distracted driving (remember, careless driving is a criminal offence). Eating or drinking behind the wheel, checking a mobile phone, using a tablet computer – all these activities have the potential to distract a driver and cause an accident.
Even talking to passengers and using the controls on an in-car stereo mean that a driver’s focus is not fully on the road.
Maintain focus – stay safe
There are many small things a driver can do to help them keep focused on their driving. Most are really obvious, and yet, every day, drivers can be seen exhibiting these dangerous behaviours as they drive. So, we will just say them once – loudly – because we know that you will hear.
- TURN OFF YOUR MOBILE PHONE
- DON’T EAT OR DRINK BEHIND THE WHEEL
- ASK PASSENGERS TO KEEP QUIET WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING
- ALTER YOUR STEREO ONLY WHEN YOU ARE STATIONARY
- STOP THE VEHICLE TO CARRY OUT ANY DISTRACTING TASK
- The Dutch Reach may prevent accidents with passing cyclists
- Maximum speeding fine rises to £2,500
- Pothole safety advice
- How do smart motorways work?
- Driving safely after dark
- Never ignore a dashboard warning light
- Modifications can increase the cost of your car insurance premiums