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Seven Good Driving Habits for Road Safety

Date: Fri 23rd February 2018   |   Author: L Blake

These top tips will help make you a saint on the roads

Having good driving habits improves your safety behind the wheel, the safety of your passengers and the safety of the drivers around you. It’s easy to get into bad driving habits. However, what you may not realise is these habits may actually be reducing the lifespan of your vehicle and also be against the law. Read on to discover more about the safe driving habits you should be following when behind the wheel.

Keep your mobile away

As well as being a dangerous distraction, checking your phone behind the wheel carries a penalty of a £200 fine and six points on your license. A common misconception is that drivers think it’s okay to use their mobile phone whilst stopped at a traffic lights. However, the law states that it is illegal to use a mobile phone that is not hands free, while the engine is running.

If you choose to use your mobile phone as a SAT NAV, your mobile should be fixed to the dashboard or windscreen, whilst not obstructing your view of the road. The SAT NAV should also be set up with the destination before you set off. So you have no reason to touch your mobile phone while driving.

However, it’s not against the law to use hands-free mobile devices. Although you may still run the risk of a penalty if police believe you are being distracted from the road. 

Stick to and know the speed limit

Sometimes road signs aren’t always clear about the speed limit, leaving motorists unsure about how fast they should be travelling.  Unless signs say otherwise, you should always stick to 30mph when driving on a road with street lights. Ignoring the speed limit puts yourself and other drivers at risk. To minimise your chances of being involved in an accident, you should always stick to the speed limit.  

woman fastening seat belt

Turn headlights on when necessary

According to UK law, a driver must turn their headlights on 30 minutes after sunset and keep them on until 30 minutes before sunrise. A safe driving habit is knowing that you should switch your headlights on if you can’t see at least 1000 feet in front of you. You should also remember to use your low beam headlights whenever it is raining.

Keep your music quiet

Although playing loud music when behind the wheel can be fun, it can also be a huge distraction. Listening to loud music can become hazardous, as it reduces the driver’s ability to notice and react to hazards. So as a safe driving habit, it is recommended the music is kept to a sensible level.

Always indicate and check your blind spots

Using your indicators is a clear way to inform the drivers around you where you plan to turn or which lane you intend to move in to. Correctly using your indicators is a safe driving habit, as it informs other drivers of what you’re doing, so they can follow behind safely.

Remembering to check your blind spots is another good driving habit. Your blind spot is an area that can’t be seen from your car’s mirrors. So checking your blind spot makes you aware of any potential hazards before setting off.

Wear your seatbelt

Under UK law, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure all passengers are wearing their seatbelts before setting off. Correctly wearing your seatbelt is the simplest way to prevent fatalities if your vehicle becomes involved in an accident.  A safe driving habit is to make sure you always wear your seatbelt and insist that your passengers do also.

Safe following distance

Another safe driving habit is to keep a safe following distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. A helpful reminder of the safe following distance is by the two-second rule. It is recommended that drivers stay at least two seconds behind the vehicle that is directly in front of them.

Not keeping a safe following distance is referred to as tailgating. Tailgating is when a motorist drives too closely behind the vehicle in front, usually in an attempt to force them to move lanes or speed up. British drivers caught tailgating will receive a £100 fine and three points on their license. Click here to find out more information on tailgating.

We hope you found this article on good driving habits useful in improving your safety when behind the wheel, as well as the safety of your passengers. Bad driving habits often lead to unnecessary accidents. Therefore it is important always make sure you adopt safe driving habits. There are plenty more helpful articles on the AutoProtect Engage page that answer all of your vehicle and driving queries.