Road safety advice for motorists

Motorists are being issued with road safety advice. Pic: Ian Rutherford
Motorists are being issued with road safety advice. Pic: Ian Rutherford

Motorists are being given advice on how to stay safe on the road this winter.

A 12-step guide has been issued by personal injury solicitors Accident Advice Helpline in support of Brake’s Road Safety Week which runs from November 23-29.

The advice includes: Drive slowly and safely and get familiarised with the local speed limits, remember it’s 20 for a reason.

Before setting off, people should be sure their car is in roadworthy condition. Always check the tread on your tyres is correct, the condition of your windscreen wipers is good, that all of your lights work and that you have enough oil, coolant, anti-freeze etc.

Motorists should also take note of the weather conditions; poor visibility and rain could mean that you need to drive slower.

Stopping distances should double in the rain due to reduced friction between your tyres and the road surface. When driving in icy conditions stopping distances should be multiplied by ten.

Motorists are also urged to anticipate everything around them and observe the behaviours of other road users as well as pedestrians that are far ahead.

Larger vehicles, such as public transport, may not be able to see vehicles hiding behind them so always position yourself in a place that you can be seen, to reduce the risk of an accident.

Motorists should also never drive while tired as your reactions will be slower so you could miss things such as pedestrians stepping out.

Try to avoid driving during times when you’d usually be asleep including during the night and very early in the morning.

If you are driving and start to feel tired take a break, sometimes getting out of your car, stretching your legs and having some food and drink can help. Drink two cups of coffee, or a high caffeine drink and rest for 10-15 minutes to allow time for the caffeine to kick in.

Always be calm and courteous to other drivers. Don’t put yourself, other road users and pedestrians in danger.

Drive cautiously through school zones and residential areas. Children could unexpectedly run out in front of you if the visibility is restricted, so you need to be aware.

Be patient. You may be in a rush to get somewhere, but you must always give all pedestrians time to cross the road.

Remember, there aren’t just cars on the road. You must be aware of cyclists and motorcyclists, they may be harder to see but you must be prepared to make room for them.

A spokesman for the Accident Advice Helpline said: “Many road traffic accidents could be avoided if drivers were more mindful of other users of the road – other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

“We back Brake’s Safety Week and advise motorists to consider what appear to be obvious but essential measures to protect others.”