Firefighters in Nottinghamshire attend hundreds of road traffic collisions each year – many of which are serious. The Service works hard in conjunction with other agencies, such as Nottinghamshire Police, East Midlands Ambulance Service and the Nottinghamshire Road Safety Partnership to educate local people and reduce the amount of crashes that occur on our roads, and there are a number of things that road users can do to help with this.
Safe driving is mostly common sense, and our top five tips for preventing collisions are:
- Think speed – the risk of killing a pedestrian is four times higher at 40mph than at 30mph
- Keep your distance – leave at least a two second gap between you and the car in front
- Don't drink and drive – just one drink can affect your response times as a driver
- Drive according to the road and weather conditions – rain, ice and fog can all make it much more likely that you will suffer a collision
- Wear a seatbelt – this will massively reduce the chances of you suffering a serious injury
By taking these simple steps, and ensuring you always drive as safely as possible, you can reduce your chances of causing a collision – or indeed being involved in one. Putting your seatbelt on, ensuring you keep to the speed limit and not driving while under the influence of drink or drugs aren't particularly hard things to do, yet they can save you from a lifetime of bad memories.
Another common cause of collisions, and something else to consider, is distraction. Using a mobile phone while driving means you are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash – and that doesn't take into account the potentially devastating consequences driving while distracted can have on other road users. Distraction also covers things such as eating while driving and using other devices such as sat navs.
It's also important to ensure that, as a driver, your vehicle is well maintained and road worthy. The depth of tread on your tyres, for example, is critical when it comes to accelerating, braking, steering and cornering, and even more so when the roads are wet. The UK minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm. Tyresafe.org has put together an informative video which tells you how to check if your tyres are legal - you can access the video here.