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Road safety

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Around 34,000 people are killed or seriously injured a year in road accidents and statistics 1 show one in five newly qualified drivers will have a crash within a year. It doesn't have to be you. Here are the best safety strategies to keep you 100% road-safe.

Start with the basics

Always belt up. Wearing a seat belt halves your chance of being seriously injured or hurt in an accident. Make sure your passengers wear a belt too – it's worth remembering that in a crash at 30mph an unrestrained passenger in the back of your car will hit your seat with a force of between 30 and 60 times your own body weight.2

Fact

Studies estimate that use of seat belts by back-seat passengers would prevent one in six deaths of front seat passengers.3

Check your speed

Slow down, especially in busy areas, as this reduces your chances of having an accident. Not speeding gives you more time to take action to avoid impact, and decreases the chance of you losing control, particularly through skidding.4 Simply put, your speed can make a huge difference when you have an accident – like the difference between an inconvenient prang and a full-blown tragedy.

Fact

Speeding contributes to 40,000 serious injuries and 1,000 deaths a year.5

When it's dark, park

Tired, distracted, and unused to driving late at night? Most accidents happen between midnight and 6am, and teenage male drivers have 17 times the accident risk of males aged 20+.6 If you do need to drive at night, take extra care.

Fact

An estimated 300 people a year are killed where a driver has fallen asleep at the wheel.7

Avoid risky behaviour

As tempting as it is to drive fast, attempt scary road tricks to impress friends, or mix drink and/or drugs with driving, all you're doing is upping your chances of causing and being in an accident.

Fact

Male drivers under 25 had the highest incidence of failing a breath test after being involved in a road accident in which someone was injured.8

Keep your eyes peeled

Inexperience is a major cause of road accidents so always drive defensively. Watch the road ahead, behind, and from side to side and give yourself time to stop, time to make the right decision and time to slow down.

Fact

More than two-thirds of all accidents in which people are killed or seriously injured happen on roads where the speed limit is 40mph or less.9

1 The AA Motoring Trust
2 Seatbelts – Think! Dept of Transport
3 National Highway Traffic Safety
4 Speed – Think! Dept of Transport
5 Ibid
6 The AA Motoring Trust - Night time accidents full report
7 Think! Dept of Transport
8 Ibid
9 Ibid

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