It’s National Road Safety Week: promoting driver awareness and safe driving and this year’s focus is all about speed. Our friends at Allianz have highlighted some key areas we all could do with remembering to keep us safer on the roads.
Do you know about stopping distances?
The general rule for a safe stopping distance is to leave at least a two second gap between yourself and the vehicle in front. An easy way to check is to count when the vehicle in front passes a sign and count how long it takes you to pass the same sign. The two second rule changes depending on speed, road and weather conditions.
Technology in vehicles is also enhancing road safety. Innovations like autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and adaptive cruise control help automatically brake the vehicle if the driver doesn’t respond to conditions in time and manage the vehicles speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead. The technology is becoming more widely used in newer vehicles.
Blind corners and road surfaces
On wet and gravelly roads, the risks come in the form of aquaplaning or skidding respectively, which could cause a serious accident. To prevent something potentially bad happening in these conditions, make sure there is enough tread on your tyres for better grip and keep speed under control for the same reason.
Country roads tend to have more sharp and blind corners than any other. Many of these accidents can be prevented by not driving faster than the speed limit.
For commercial drivers, making sure loads are secured properly is incredibly important. Instances of HGVs rolling over are often due to a heavy load not being secured properly – compounded by the higher centre of gravity HGVs have.
A load not secured properly moves about within the trailer as well, which could lead to unusual handling and behaviour while moving.
Vehicle and tyre conditions
Basic vehicle maintenance, like keeping fluid levels topped up and checking tyre pressures (and tread levels) regularly keeps the engine running smoothly, reduces fuel wastage and, in the case of tyres, could prevent a catastrophic accident.