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   About Road Safety

Road Safety


Securing Your Vehicle

Make sure that your car is always locked, even when going to pay for fuel. Lock your vehicle on entering, especially traffic that is slow moving. Keep briefcases and handbags out of sight to avoid them being stolen by opportunist thieves. Robberies at traffic lights have increased in the last few years. Check the interior of your vehicle before entering, especially the back seats.

When you park in a public place do not leave valuables on view inside the vehicle, place these items in the boot or inside the glove box. Make sure that your car is secured with approved security devices.


Breaking down on the Motorway

Make sure that your car has enough fuel and oil and that you have the correct tyre pressures. Also check that your tyres are in good condition. In order to avoid breakdowns make sure that your vehicle is well maintained. Regular maintenance highlights problems in the early stages and this can prevent a breakdown.

If your vehicle has a problem while using a motorway, try to stop next to an emergency telephone box. These boxes are usually one mile apart. Emergency boxes will transfer your call to the appropriate breakdown services. Always put your hazard warning lights on.

If you have to walk to the telephone box the arrows on the marker posts point to the nearest one. The call will be free and you will be put through to the police control. They will take your details before transferring your call to your breakdown service. Let the operator know if you are alone or disabled. Park on the hard shoulder. Lock all your doors if you are alone apart from the passenger door and use the passenger door to exit your vehicle.

Try to keep a warm blanket, coat and walking shoes in the vehicle. When you have made your call stand or sit on the motorway embankment away from the traffic. The main danger is from passing traffic sometimes they just can’t see you in time. If you are alone and a vehicle pulls up immediately get into your car and lock the passenger door. Never pick up hitchhikers and what most people don’t know is that it is illegal for anyone to stop on the motorway to offer assistance.


Breaking Down at Night

If your vehicle breaks down in a dark place make sure that your hazard warning lights are on. Try to drive on to a well lit area where there might be a telephone. A mobile phone is a must if you often travel at night. Try to remember landmarks and street names to assist the breakdown service in locating your vehicle. When you make a call make it clear you are alone and ask for advice. Carry a torch in your glove box and a personal alarm could also be very useful.


Safety of Passengers

It is best not to overheat the inside of the car because this can cause fatigue or motion sickness. It is better to put on extra clothing and this is another reason to keep a car blanket inside your vehicle. If you are driving a long way make sure you take regular breaks. Make sure that your child seat is correctly fitted. Never put a rearward facing child seat on the front passenger seat if an airbag is fitted.


Road Rage and Driver Safety

In order to avoid an incident try not to get defensive with another driver if they are angered by a driving error. Say it was your mistake or say that you are sorry.

A recent survey on road rage found that: “more than half of all drivers had been sworn at, more than two thirds had been the target of abusive hand signals, 600,000 had been attacked or punched and over a million drivers had been rammed by another car.”

Never lose your temper and don’t return verbal abuse or threaten any gestures if you do it will only make things worse. Also avoid eye contact it can defuse the situation. If you are followed by another vehicle make your way to a highly populated or busy area and use your horn or flash your lights to attract attention. If you are forced off the road by another vehicle you should lock all the doors and do not leave your vehicle.

Report road rage incidents to the police and try to give as much information as possible. Drive at the correct speed limit and never get distracted. If you see that another driver is having difficulty, drive on and report it later by telephone. Never stop to offer assistance.


If you Have a Disability

If you are unfortunate to have a disability which prevents you from following the above advice you should: Switch on your warning lights; stay in your vehicle and at the time of placing your emergency call to the breakdown services inform them or the call handler of your circumstances and/or requirements.


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