With Road Safety Week coming up on 14th November 2022, we’ve put together this post with some top tips to ensure safe driving on the road.
Motorways can be daunting, especially for new or inexperienced drivers.
Although you can’t drive on them with a provisional licence, they still take a bit of time to get used to even if you’re fully licensed.
To ensure safety on the motorway, it’s important to know how to merge and overtake correctly.
- When merging, it’s important to give priority to those already on the motorway.
- Don’t slow down when trying to merge. The purpose of the slip road is so that you can accelerate and match the speed of traffic, allowing you to merge safely.
- Don’t forget to use mirrors and indicate when merging and overtaking.
Keeping your tyres healthy is essential for helping you stay safe on the road.
Not only can neglecting them be costly but also dangerous. When checking your tyres, the main things to look out for are pressure and tread depth.
Overinflation can affect braking and create uneven tyre tread. Meanwhile, underinflation can result in blowouts which can be dangerous, especially when driving at high speeds.
Additionally, tyre tread is important for grip on the road. The legal minimum depth is 1.6mm and can be checked by placing a 20p coin between the grooves.
Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of ignoring dashboard warning lights at some point or another. We always think that we’ll look into it or get it fixed but forget about it until the next time we sit in the driver’s seat.
While some warning lights aren’t a cause for alarm, others should be dealt with as soon as possible. ABS and braking system lights can often mean something needs to be checked urgently.
Other warning lights that need attention include the engine light and temperature light.
Although snow during winter is rarely an issue in Northern Ireland, apart from the Beast from the East in 2018, it’s important to know about winter driving safety.
Heavy rain and floods can make driving very hazardous this time of year and the need for breakdown assistance is much more common in bad weather. It’s important therefore to stay safe when driving in wet road conditions.
When driving in heavy rain, you should:
- reduce your speed
- increase stopping distance
- put your lights on so you're visible to oncoming traffic
- be aware of aquaplaning
If you need to drive through a flood, do so in low gear with increased revs. Once you’ve started you need to keep going so you don’t stall. Don’t forget to check your brakes after to ensure they’re dry and still work efficiently.
The introduction of Cycle to Work schemes has seen an increase in the number of cyclists pedalling to work. These cyclists are most often seen in the cities or big towns but it’s also common to come across a cyclist in the countryside.
Some top tips for driving beside cyclists include leaving plenty of space (when driving behind and overtaking cyclists), checking your mirrors and blind spots, and only overtaking when it's safe to do so.
Never blow your horn when you encounter a cyclist as it could result in them falling off their bike and onto the road in front of you. You should also refrain from driving or parking in cycle lanes and cycle boxes.
Our final safe driving tip is about child safety in the car. The number one tip, which seems easy to remember but it happens more than you think, is to not leave your child unattended. It’s easier said than done but infants or young children should never be left in a car unattended.
The use of a car seat is also crucial for keeping children safe in the car. Did you know that you can risk a fine and three penalty points
if you’re caught driving without a child seat or proper restraint? For older kids, a secured seat belt should be worn. Other tips include not driving recklessly with children in the car and the use of safety locks on the door.
Make Sure You’re Insured
Remember that when you’re driving it’s important to be insured at all times. There are different levels of car insurance to choose from including:
- Comprehensive insurance – offers the highest level of cover and provides maximum protection. Not only does it cover expenses for third parties, but it also provides coverage for your own vehicle and person.
- Third-party fire & theft insurance – covers you for damage and injury to third parties as well as fire or theft of your own vehicle.
- Third-party only insurance – the most basic level of cover. It only covers the cost of damage to other people’s cars and the cost of their medical expenses.
If you have any questions, need assistance in taking out an insurance policy or want to make a claim, don’t hesitate to contact Stroll Insurance.