It’s that time of the year again when we turn our thoughts to how to make our roads safer; it’s UK Road Safety Week from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th November. Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event and is organised by Brake, the road safety charity. Each year the Week aims to raise awareness of road safety and promote life-saving messages. Individuals, businesses and communities can get involved, whether that’s donating to the cause or even just making the Brake pledge online. In support of the Brake charity and Road Safety Week, we’ve written a blog covering some of the most common mistakes that drivers make and how they can be avoided.
1. Not in the proper driving positionBefore they even start the engine and get on the road, some people make the first mistake of not adjusting their car properly. We’re not all the same size, and neither are our cars. Especially if two drivers regularly use the same car and do not adjust seats, mirrors, and more; the right positioning can mean the difference between a life or death situation.
How to avoidEach time you get into your car, check that the mirrors, seat, seat belt and steering wheel are all in the right position. You should have the seat far enough forward so that you can fully extend the clutch pedal while maintaining a slight bend in the knee. The backrest should be tilted back gently, so that when you turn the steering wheel your shoulders remain in contact with the seat. Also, the centre of the headrest must sit higher than your ears. More information about correct mirror positioning can be found here.
2. Not using indicatorsFrom roundabouts to overtaking and merging, many people still neglect one of the most crucial steps in safe driving; letting other drivers know your intentions. As well as annoying other road users, not using your indicators can cause accidents. Drivers and pedestrians cannot know where you intend to go unless you tell them with early and adequate signalling.
How to avoidThe answer seems simple; to use your indicators more. But some people may require a reminder of when and how they should be properly used. The Highway Code states that you must signal your intention with indicators to:
- move to the left or right
- turn left or right. This includes leaving the continuing road at a modified T-intersection when you intend to go straight ahead
- change from one lane to another or diverging
- pull into or out from a kerb or side of the road
- make a U-turn or 3-point turn
- leave a roundabout (if practicable)
- Turn left or right when driving within a car park. This includes turning left or right to move into a car park space. (1)