WMS Group’s top tips for Road Safety Week

Improving road safety is of paramount importance to us at the WMS Group, and we are committed to keeping you safe and sound on the road, whatever the weather. With today marking the start of Road Safety Week, we have put together our top ten tips for safer driving.

  • Watch your speed. Speed limits are in place for a reason so keep to the limit for yours and others’ safety, especially at this time of year when winter weather greatly increases the chance of collisions – even at lower speeds. Take extra care and slow down to 20mph in built up areas to improve your chance of stopping in time.
  • Expect the unexpected. Country roads are full of surprises with unforeseen bends and farm machinery manoeuvring around small lanes. Make sure you brake well in advance of any corner, allowing yourself plenty of time to react to any unexpected hazards.
  • Patience is a virtue. If you are stuck behind a slow moving vehicle, be patient and only overtake when you can see properly – drivers overtaking on corners or crests have led to a large number of collisions that could have been otherwise avoided. Being five minutes late is better than not arriving at all.
  • Familiarity can cause fatality. Even on well-known routes, always remain aware of your surroundings – changes in conditions can not only affect the handling of your vehicle, but also your reaction times.
  • Take a break. Fatigue is not something a quick caffeine boost can shake off, and studies by Think! and Direct.gov* show that drivers tend not to fall asleep without warning. Attempting counter measures such as opening a window or turning up the radio is not effective, so don’t ignore the signs and stop for a rest when you need to.
  • Purchase an emergency breakdown kit and keep an assortment of supplies such as non-perishable food and drinks, blankets, torches, in-car phone charger, ice scrapers and anti-freeze in your vehicle. If you do break down, try and keep your vehicle as far to the left as possible, place a warning triangle 45m behind your vehicle and do not stand between your vehicle and oncoming traffic.
  • Be vibrant. If you are planning to go out walking or cycling at night, make sure you wear high visibility clothing to ensure that motorists can see you clearly and make allowances for you on the road. If you have young children or dogs, you may also wish to purchase reflective leashes or outerwear so everyone can remain safe.
  • Do a double take. Always look twice before crossing junctions to ensure all potential hazards are spotted. The low winter sun and bad weather conditions can seriously impair your vision, and you may not see an oncoming car without its headlights on, or a  a hazard on a bend until it’s too late.
  • Stay sober. With party season just around the corner you may be tempted to enjoy a little tipple, but even one pint of lager or a small glass of wine can drastically alter your reaction times when driving. Drink drivers have killed at least 25,000 people since 1979, with 130,000 more being seriously injured. Don’t take the risk.
  • And finally, don’t neglect essential maintenance. Winter is officially upon us so it is especially important to check your tyres, lights, wipers and fluid levels once a week. A good car warranty package with breakdown cover can also potentially save you thousands of pounds in repair bills and ensure that you are safely taken to your destination if your vehicle breaks down.

The WMS Group have partnered with Brake the charity behind Road Safety Week to raise awareness and vital funds, so look out for events and initiatives at a dealership near you! For more road safety advice or to pledge your support, please visit: http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/action-pack/518-look-out-for-each-other.

*http://think.direct.gov.uk/fatigue.html

https://www.gov.uk/breakdowns-and-incidents-274-to-287/breakdowns-274