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No matter if you are going on a long or short journey, being prepared and staying safe is important.
We focus on several different aspects of road safety, including seat belts, child seats, tyre safety, drink driving and risks of driving in winter.
It is essential that your check your car tyres are in good condition to keep you and your passengers safe on the road. The driver is responsible for the condition of the tyres. Check your tyres at least once a month
Check your tyre's are at the manufacturer's recommended pressure. The recommended pressure may displayed in your car - this may be in the door shut, fuel cap or owner's manual.
Remove any stones or objects from the tyre's tread. If you spot any lumps, bumps or cuts, get your tyres checked by a professional.
The UK legal minimum tread is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tread. Check your tyres are safe with the 20 pence test:
Put a 20 pence coin into three different places in the tyre's tread.
You should check your tyres once a month to ensure they are safe to drive on.
For more information on tyre safety, watch the video below:
You must wear a seat belt if one is fitted in the seat you’re using - there are only very few exceptions.
You’re also only allowed 1 person in each seat fitted with a seat belt. You can be fined up to £500 if you don’t wear a seat belt.
The law requires all children travelling in the front or rear seat of any car, van or goods vehicle must use the correct child car seat until they are either 135 cm in height or 12 years old (which ever they reach first). After this they must use an adult seat belt. There are very few exceptions.
It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that children under the age of 14 years are restrained correctly in accordance with the law.
It is very important to ensure that your child travels in an appropriate child restraint, which:
The seat your child can use (and the way they must be restrained in it) depends on their weight.
Only EU-approved weight-based child car seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘ECE R44’.
Appropriate seats for children's weight:
New regulations regarding the sale and use of booster cushions took effect on 9th February 2017. The new rules now
mean that manufacturers will no longer be allowed to introduce new models of backless booster seats for children shorter than 125cm and weighing less than 22kg.
This change does not affect existing models of seats or cushions.
Are you planning a night out and don’t know whether to drive or take a taxi?
It’s important to remember that alcohol can slow you down and affect your body’s responses making your driving unsafe, putting you and others at risk of accidents.
The alcohol limit for drivers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is as follows:
The amount of alcohol you would need to drink to be considered over the driving limit varies from person to person.
It depends on:
Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your ability to drive so the only safe advice is to avoid any alcohol if you are driving.
It roughly takes 1 hour for our bodies to process 1 unit of alcohol. There’s nothing you can do to speed up the rate alcohol leaves your system, we just have to let our liver do its job by breaking down the alcohol.
If you’re thinking about driving the morning after you’ve been drinking, it’s best to consider how much you had, and how late into the night it was before you finished your last drink.
Looking at 12% wine:
Beers, ciders and lagers can have a lot of variation due to their different strengths:
You may get:
A conviction for drink-driving also means:
Regular servicing and checks on your vehicle will reduce your chances of breaking down on the road, particularly in the winter months.
We have created a video on winter driving top tips below:
We have also put together a winter car safety booklet collating advice and information for driving during winter.
It is important to remember to check your vehicle frequently, and one way to do this is to do a POWDER check to ensure your vehicle is road ready.
We have created a video on POWDER checks to make sure you stay safe on the roads at all times: