How to Stay Safe on the Road
In the UK last year, there was a total of 194,477 casualties due to reported road traffic accidents. This resulted in 1,775 road deaths, a 4% increase on the previous year. Many of these incidents could have been avoided had the proper precautions been in place. To help protect yourself and the people around you, here’s a few tips on how to stay safe on the road.
Planning Ahead of Time
Regular vehicle maintenance is an essential responsibility of any vehicle owner. Not only should you have the vehicle inspected out before you buy it, but you should also take it to get serviced at least once a year after this. While many drivers see this as just another checkpoint in a long list of expenses, the reality is thorough inspection services will help you to save you money in the long-run. More importantly, though, by picking up on any problems before they have a chance to fully develop, you’ll help to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself or other drivers at risk while on the road.
Avoiding Common Problems
According to the AA, flat or damaged tyres and wheels are on the most common causes of breakdowns. You should read your vehicle’s manual to make sure the tyres have the right pressure and are not underinflated. Not only will this increase roll resistance – which affects fuel efficiency – but it could help avoid a major accident. The minimum legal tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm, though you should ideally be looking to change the tyres before you reach this point. As well as increasing the chance of an accident, driving with tyres worn down to below the legal limit could result in three penalty points and a £2,500 fine.
Handling a Breakdown
In the event you do suffer a breakdown, you should always keep an emergency breakdown kit in the boot of your vehicle. This will typically consist of a first aid kit, an empty fuel can, a high visibility jacket, a wind-up torch, and a warning triangle. With this you can effectively warn other drivers that your car has broken down while it also allows you to treat any immediate injuries to yourself or your fellow passengers. You should also keep a spare phone charger in your car so that you have a means of calling for roadside assistance or the emergency services.