Car accident prevention: 10 ways to stay safe on the road
At Point S, we take care of your car all year round. The care we take with our services is above all to ensure that your vehicle is in perfect condition for you to use on the roads. Nevertheless, a healthy vehicle is not enough to protect you. In this guide, we’ll provide you with tips on how to stay safe on the road and reduce the risk of a car accident.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced driver, staying vigilant on the roads and following a few simple rules can help to keep you and those around you safe. Here are our top tips for driving safely!
What are the 4 main causes of road accidents?
Distraction is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Any activities that could take your attention away from the road must be avoided to keep you focused. This includes using your mobile phone (texting, talking, eating), or overusing your car's infotainment system. Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can dramatically increase your chances of getting into an accident.
By driving too fast, you reduce the amount of time you have to react to changing conditions and can easily lose control of the vehicle. To avoid car accidents, you should always drive at the posted speed limits. Additionally, you should always drive at a speed that is appropriate for the weather and road conditions. For instance, when it's raining, snowing or when it gets foggy, lowering your speed helps reducing the risk of crashing. Speeding is one of the major sources of car crashes.
Driving after drinking or taking drugs
Driving after drinking alcohol or taking medicine (drugs) is one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road. It is extremely important to understand the effects of alcohol and drugs on your ability to drive, and to know the laws and penalties associated with driving under the influence. This is why you must make sure to plan ahead and arrange for a designated driver, take public transportation, or call a taxi to get home safely if you happen to drink before hitting the road.
Feeling drowsy, having difficulty concentrating, and having difficulty keeping your eyes open are main signs of fatigue when driving. If you start to feel any of these signs, it is important to pull over and take a break. Make sure that you get plenty of rest before long journeys and take regular breaks during the journey.
How can you prevent road accidents in the UK?
Road accidents are a serious cause of injuries (and even death) in the UK. To reduce the number of road accidents, there are several steps that can be taken. These include following the speed limit, avoiding distractions such as mobile phones, wearing seatbelts, and being aware of other drivers.
Favour a perfect driving position
To be able to control your vehicle perfectly, you should adopt a good driving position. As a reminder, a good driving position is one that allows you to reach the steering wheel and the pedals naturally and comfortably. A position that is too far away or too close will disturb your concentration. Also, never neglect the adjustment of your mirrors when driving, you must be able to react quickly.
Maintain your vehicle regularly
Regular car maintenance of your vehicle is essential to reduce the risk of being involved in a car accident. Make sure to check your tyres, brakes, and fluid levels regularly to ensure that your car is in good working order. Additionally, it is important to inspect the exterior of your car, such as lights and mirrors, to make sure that they are functioning properly. By taking the time to properly maintain your vehicle, you can go a long way towards preventing an accident.
Imperfections in your vehicle can be the cause of many accidents. Whether it is a tyre, a bodywork part, or an engine problem, it's important to prevent this from happening, so take care of your car regularly.
Respect safety distances
When driving, it is important to maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you, as well as the vehicles around you. This will give you more time to react in case of an emergency or an unexpected situation. Safety distances are precise, they will keep you alive in case of a road accident. If you follow a vehicle too closely, your reaction time will be reduced, so always maintain a minimum distance of 3 seconds from the vehicle in front. This will lower the risk of rear-end collision in case of sudden braking.
Be careful at night and when it’s raining
Driving at night or in the rain can be a challenge, and it is important to be extra cautious in such situations. It is important to reduce speed and to increase the distance between your car and other vehicles in order to reduce the chances of being involved in a car accident. Additionally, it is important to make sure your headlights are on, and your windshield wipers are working properly to have a clear view of the road.
At night, many sources of danger are combined including lack of visibility and increased fatigue. Make sure to properly check any approaching vehicles at any intersections, as the visibility is reduced at when it gets darker.
This is also the time when you are most likely to come across a driver under the influence of alcohol, so you must be extra vigilant and do not hesitate to stop and take a break. Also, under rain or other bad weather conditions, your vehicle will lose handling and grip.
Know your vehicle's blind spots
Blind spots are areas around your vehicle where other drivers and pedestrians can't be seen. It is important to check your blind spots before changing lanes, checking intersections or merging onto a highway. You can also adjust your mirrors so that they cover as much of your blind spots as possible.
We strongly recommend checking your blind spots and put your indicators on systematically when you change lanes or direction, whether on the motorway, on a country road or in town, as an accident can happen very quickly. Whenever you drive in busy intersections, we recommend checking your blind sports to watch for pedestrians, cyclists or other approaching vehicles.
Taking regular breaks while driving is an important part of car accident prevention. Not only can it help reduce fatigue, but it can also give you a chance to stretch your legs, take your eyes off the road, and refresh your mind. Taking a break every two hours during a long journey can help you stay alert and focused on the road, which will help you avoid accidents.
Mobile phone usage
Mobile phone usage is one of the major causes of car accidents. It is important to remember to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times. Put your mobile phone away before driving and turn off any notifications that could distract you. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over to a safe spot and make sure you are not endangering yourself or others.
Respect speed limits
By driving at the speed limit or below, you can reduce your chances of being involved in a serious accident. Not only does this lessen the chance of an accident, but it also helps to reduce the severity of the accident if it were to occur. Driving too fast can make it difficult to react to sudden changes in traffic or road conditions, which can increase the risk of a serious accidents. It is important to be aware of the speed limit for the area you are driving in, and to adjust your speed accordingly.
Did you know that a 1% increase in your speed on the road increases the severity of an accident by 3% and the death rate by 5%? * Since the massive deployment of speed limits, accidents have drastically decreased and so have their fatalities. Think about this before you push your vehicle beyond the limits of your body.
Don't drink or take drugs before driving
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to car accident prevention is to never get behind the wheel while inebriated or under the influence of drugs. Alcohol and drugs can significantly impair a person's ability to drive safely, leading to slower reaction times, decreased motor coordination, and a higher risk of crashing and risk of collisions. It is essential that drivers never operate a vehicle if they have consumed any alcohol or drugs, as this can lead to serious injury or death.
According to the WHO, drinking alcohol increases the risk of road accidents by a phenomenal amount. Decreased concentration, increased reaction time, difficulty in keeping on track, driving under alcohol have many consequences on your driving, which very often take on fatal proportions.
Always have your seat belt fastened
One of the most important rules of road safety is to always wear your seat belt. Wearing a seat belt not only helps protect you and your passengers from serious injury in the event of an accident, but it can also help you avoid an accident altogether. Wearing a seat belt can help you maintain control of your vehicle in hazardous situations, such as slippery roads or sudden stops.
45 to 50%. That is how much the risk of death in the event of an incident is reduced thanks to the seat belt*. Today, together with the airbag, it is your greatest chance of survival in the car, so fasten it.
We hope this article has caught your attention, at Point S, road safety is central in our priorities and if you entrust us with your vehicle, we will always ensure that it is as reliable as possible for your safety.
*Source: WHO 2020