How to drive safe in the UK

You may have just passed your test and are experiencing the thrill of the open road for the first time. Perhaps you are new the the UK or maybe you are a seasoned driver with years of experience under your belt. Still, you need to be aware of road safety and ensure you keep bad driving habits at bay.

Here are a few tips for driving safely in the UK, as well as a few things you definitely shouldn’t do:

Things to Think About

When it comes to driving safely, there are a number of things you should be thinking about – considering these factors will affect the speed and way in which you drive:

  • Hazards – ask yourself questions like if there are cyclists on the road or are you near a school where children could be crossing?
  • Weather and road conditions – is it raining, icy or snowy?
  • Traffic – is the road unusually busy, or are roadworks bringing traffic to a standstill?
  • Speed – what is the speed limit and what speed are you doing?
  • Your mood – for example, are you feeling unwell or tired?

Make sure you adjust your speed according to road conditions – speed is one of the main factors in road fatalities, and the speed limit is there for a reason!

You should never exceed the speed limit, and may need to drive well below it if there are other factors at play, such as wintry weather or uneven road surfaces.

What Not to Do

There are a few definite no-no’s when it comes to driving safely on the roads in the UK. You should never do any of the following:

  • Don’t overtake a cyclist where there isn’t enough room to do so – you could clip them and knock them off their bike
  • Never overtake on a blind corner or bend, or try to overtake when you can clearly see oncoming traffic in the distance
  • Don’t drive in the fast lane on the motorway – this is only for overtaking, and you could incur a penalty and points on your licence if you consistently sit in the fast lane
  • You should never ignore signs such as one-way signs or no-entry, as you could cause a collision with an oncoming vehicle
  • Don’t turn right or pull out on a busy road without checking your side mirrors. There could be a cyclist or motorbike rider coming up alongside you and you could hit them
  • If you’re riding a moped, bicycle or motorbike, take a ‘Rider Skills’ day or extra lessons to equip you with the knowledge and experience you need to stay safe on busy roads

Tips for Staying Safe

By following some of our tips for staying safe, you’ll ensure that yourself and your passengers have a safe journey, whether you’re commuting home from work or heading off on an exciting family day out.

  • Drive according to the conditions – be aware that rain, ice and snow can change stopping distances, and adjust your speed accordingly. You should always stay in a low gear in wintry conditions to maintain greater control of your vehicle
  • Be aware of your surroundings – there’s a reason why you’re taught to regularly check your mirrors when you learn to drive! Keep an eye out for hazards such as children crossing the road, cyclists or other vehicles
  • Be careful on rural roads – you’re four times more likely to have a crash on a country road, as people tend to drive faster

Follow these tips and avoid our no-no’s to ensure that you stay safe on the UK’s roads this year – happy driving!