8 Top tips to keep yourself and family safe when driving

Between June 2016 – June 2017 there were 27,130 people killed or seriously injured as the result of road accidents. In most EU countries, people learn first aid as a mandatory element of their driving tests. However, in the UK first aid training is not an integral part of the test, meaning most drivers involved in accidents are likely to be completely powerless to help in any road traffic accidents they may be involved in.

Key things to think about before your journey:

Ensure your vehicle is in peak condition – check the tread on the tyres and your car is clean and in great working order.

Planning – know your route, roughly how long it should take you and alternatives for known traffic hotspots. Do not rely entirely on the Sat Nav. Getting lost is stressful and that in itself, can be dangerous.

Don’t strap in wearing a coat as your seat belt is not as effective. This is particularly important when strapping children into car seats as they can literally slither out in their coat.

Never drive when tired and always check side effects on prescription medication for any risks that they could cause drowsiness. Take the advice seriously.

Minimise distractions – if children become fractious during a journey, try and stop at the first safe opportunity. Do not try and help them whilst driving. Pets should ideally be in travel cases or travel safely and comfortably in the boot of an open hatchback.

Mobile phones, Sat Nav and other technical distractions are dangerous.

Stop regularly – have planned stops on your journey and be aware of time to next service stations etc, when on the motorway.

Cyclists are particularly vulnerable road users and it is vitally important that you know how to respond if there is an accident. If you are cycling with children and teenagers, reinforce that they should never overtake lorries, buses and other large vehicles on the inside and explain the significance of their blind spots.

Car seats

It is critical that children are in the right car seat for their height and weight. UK law states children must use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm (4ft 5in) tall, whichever comes first. But safety experts recommend you use a child car seat for all children under 150cm (4ft 11in). … The driver is legally responsible for children being in car seats while travelling.


You must wear a seatbelt if there is one fitted to the seat you are in. Failure to wear a seatbelt carries a £500 fine.

Data from numerous regional and national sources was gathered into a single directory of all car seat rules and regulations from 176 countries (95 of which incidentally have specific child seat laws) which is useful when looking for more information on car seats and their use in different countries all over the world. 

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