Safety dos and don'ts

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What Car? Staff
9 Jun 2008 11:0 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

Do time your journey
Choosing when you travel can make a huge difference.

The RAC Foundation found that more car users are killed or seriously injured during late afternoon/early evening on Friday than at any other time.

It's known as the 'fatal Friday' phenomenon, and may be due to motorists switching off early after a long week.

Don't drive tired
It's vital you should be alert when you're driving.

According to a study by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, fatigue is the main cause of 10% of all road accidents - and of 20% of accidents on motorways.

Statistics also show that falling asleep at the wheel is the cause of around 20% of accidents on long journeys on trunk roads and motorways.

You might be tempted to drive overnight, but you'll be a danger to yourself, your family and other road users.

The greatest risk of falling asleep at the wheel is between midnight and 6am.

Do watch your speed
Excessive speed is a factor in 40% of fatal car crashes, and, for every 1mph reduction in speed, the chances of being involved in a crash decrease by 5%.

In a small town or village, keep to 30mph and, even if you're late, don't try to make it up by speeding.

Although you may feel safe on minor roads, you're not immune - 60% of fatal crashes occur on rural roads, mainly A-roads.

Don't use your mobile phone
A study by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents suggests that drivers using a mobile phone are four times more likely to have an accident than drivers who are not.

It's tempting to reach for the phone when it rings, but let your passenger take the call and pass on the message.

Do overtake safely
Never start to overtake from directly behind a vehicle.

Always hang back a little, so when you move out and have a look, you get a better view.

If it's clear, you might want to drop a gear and then accelerate swiftly past.