Today marks the start of Road Safety Week (16th-22nd November). Each year, the event created by road safety charity Brake looks to raise awareness of the importance of road safety. Everyone from school kids to police services is encouraged to get involved and hold events.
This year, the theme of Road Safety Week this year is – No Need to Speed.
Excess speed is a contributory factor in 1 in 3 fatal road crashes. So to support Road Safety Week and highlight the importance of travelling at the correct speeds, here are a few tips to keep yourself and others on the road safe.
With 3 in 4 UK drivers admitting to breaking speed limits, it’s important to be aware of the speed limit for the road you’re using. In the UK, the speed limits can change quickly, so it’s best to have a good understanding of what the limits are.
Built-up areas – 30mph (unless specifically signposted that the road has a different limit)
Single carriageways – 60mph (50mph for vehicles towing caravans)
Dual carriageways – 70mph (60mph for vehicles towing caravans)
Motorways – 70mph (60mph for vehicles towing caravans)
Knowing the speed limit is just the first part of driving at safe speeds. Being able to control your speed when driving means that whatever the speed limit, you’re in total control of your vehicle and keeping safe on the road.
Here are 3 ways to control your speed:
1. Use your gears to control your speed. Using a lower gear will utilise the vehicle’s engine braking and keep speeds under control. For a built-up 30mph zone, stick to 3rd gear or 2nd if it’s a 20mph zone.
2. Always give yourself time. We all hate running late and that pressure of getting where you need to be on time can cause us to speed. Rather than having to make up for lost time, try to plan ahead as much as possible and leave yourself additional time in case of traffic.Not only will this reduce the chances of speeding, but it will also make for a calmer, smoother journey and even reduce the amount of fuel you use.
3. Avoid distractions. You may not even notice but you can drive faster if you’re distracted behind the wheel. Something as simple as gazing out the window or talking to another passenger can cause your attention to slip and your speed to increase.
If you notice that you’re getting distracted while driving, switch off the radio, keep an eye on your speedometer to ensure you’re remaining within the speed limit and continue your conversation when you’ve arrived safely.
Before you even leave there are plenty of other ways to ensure you and your vehicle are safe and ready for your journey.
Remember this simple FLOWERS acronym when doing regular checks of your car to ensure everything is good to go for your trip.
Fuel – make sure your vehicle has enough fuel for the journey ahead
Lights – Check your lights are working correctly and clear of dirt and debris
Oil – Check that the oil is at the correct level
Water – Is the coolant and screenwash at the correct level?
Electrics – Make sure the battery is in good condition
Rubber – Ensure your tyre pressure is at the right level and that there are no signs of wear or cuts
Self – Are you in a fit state to drive? Avoid driving tired, angry or upset and ensure you’re fully ready to drive
For more information on Road Safety Week including how to get involved, click here.
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