Road Safety

In car and driving Safety

In Car Safety

Child Car Seats

Children are still being killed or seriously injured in road accidents because they are not properly restrained. You can best protect your children by putting them in a properly fitted child car seat which is appropriate for their weight and size.

The law says that all children up to 135cm tall (around 4'5"), or the age of 12, whichever comes first, when travelling in the front or rear seats in cars, vans and other goods vehicles must travel in the correct child restraint for their weight with very few exceptions.

Visit the various web links listed at the bottom of this page to gain detailed information on the guidelines for child car restraints.

Drink Driving and Alcohol Levels

A healthy body takes ONE HOUR to process ONE UNIT of alcohol but this varies according to sex, age and body mass.

Let's say you have 3 pints of lager, 2 alcopops and 3 shots before 11:30pm.  This works out at a staggering 16.5 units!  To be safe, you must allow at least 16 hours 30 minutes before you drive. That's 4pm the next afternoon!

Myths about alcohol

  1. "Alcohol gives you energy"
    False: Alcohol is a depressant that can actually make you sleepy.
  2. "I can sober up quickly if I need to - with a cold shower, fresh air or coffee" 
    False: None of these will make you sober.  Only time will remove alcohol from your system.
  3. "Drink drivers can be safe, because they drive more carefully"
    False:  Alcohol slows down reaction time, which makes driving much trickier than you think.
  4. "Eating a big meal, or lining your stomach before or after you drink will keep you sober" 
    False: This will only delay the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, not prevent it.

Facts about alcohol

Time is the only thing that sobers you up.

There are no shortcuts. More than a third of us underestimate when it's safe to drive the next day. If you have a drink, take time out before driving!  It's time to take public transport, book a taxi, or share a lift... or you could have plenty of time on your hands!

Click here for more information from the Drinkaware website.

Table below lists the units of some alcoholic drinks:

 Remember: one unit = one hour

 

Bottle (330ml)

Can (440ml)

Pint (568ml)

Litre

 Beer/Lager/Cider at 2%

0.7 units

0.9 units

1.1 units

2 units

 Beer/Lager/Cider at 4%

1.3 units

1.8 units

2.3 units

4 units

 Beer/Lager/Cider at 5%

1.7 units

2.2 units

2.8 units

5 units

 Beer/Lager/Cider at 6%

2 units

2.6 units

3.4 units

6 units

 Beer/Lager/Cider at 9%

3 units

4 units

5.1 units

9 units

 

 Bottle

 

 

 

 Alcopops at 5%

1.4 units

 

 

 

 

Small measure (25ml)

Large measure (35ml)

Small double measure (50ml)

Large double measure (70ml)

Spirits: Gin/Rum/Vodka/Whisky at 38-40%

1 unit

1.4 units

1.9 - 2 units

2.7 - 2.8 units

 

Small glass (125ml)

Standard glass (175ml)

Large glass (250ml)

Bottle (750)

 Wine/Champagne at 10%

1.25 units

1.75 units

2.5 units

7.5 units

 Wine/Champagne at 11%

1.4 units

1.9 units

2.8 units

8.3 units

 Wine/Champagne at 12%

1.5 units

2.1 units

3 units

9 units

 Wine/Champagne at 13%

1.6 units

2.3 units

3.3 units

9.8 units

 Wine/Champagne at 14%

1.75 units

2.5 units

3.5 units

10.5 units

 

Standard measure (50ml)

 

 

 

Fortified Wine: Sherry/Port 17.5 - 20%

0.9 - 1 unit

 

 

 

Shots may either be spirits or liqueurs and are generally drunk very quickly.  Different liqueurs can vary considerably in strength - they can be stronger or weaker than this example.

 

Small measure (25ml)

Large measure (35ml)

 

 

Tequila/Sambuca Shots at 38 - 40%

 1 unit

1.3 units

 

 

A healthy body takes one hour to process one unit of alcohol but this varies according to sex, age and body mass.

What you should do when an emergency vehicle (ambulance, police car or fire engine) is flashing its blue lights

It's not unusual to be driving along when you're suddenly confronted with the sight or sound of an emergency vehicle behind you or coming towards you - blue lights flashing, siren blaring. Your first instinct will be to try to get out of the way as quickly as possible in order to let the vehicle pass, and this is what most of us would do, but it isn't always the right thing to do.

Listed below are tips on what you need to consider:

The Highway Code indicates that you should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police cars and any other emergency vehicles, whenever you are on the road.

The important thing to remember at this point is not to panic. Above all, remember that you are responsible for your own actions on the road, regardless of the presence of an emergency vehicle, so you should move out of the way when it is safe and appropriate for you to do so without contravening road laws, or endangering yourself or anyone else in the area.

It's also worth remembering that the blue lights may be a signal for you to pull over and stop. GEM Motoring Assist have produced the "Blue Light Aware" video which contains further advice and information. To visit the Blue light Aware website to learn more please click here . To view the video on YouTube please click here .

Follow our tips when you see or hear an emergency vehicle on the road - stay safe and allow them to pass by with the minimum of delay.

Stay alert to approaching emergency vehicles, you'll often hear them before you see them so keep the music low enough to hear warning sirens. Keep an eye on your mirrors too.

When you hear the sirens or see flashing lights, try to locate the vehicle and consider the route that it may take.  Take any appropriate action to let it pass, but be careful not to contravene any traffic signs or rules of the road.

Remember: Emergency vehicle drivers are specially trained and have exemptions to the law that you don't have, so you must not go through red lights or speed to allow them to pass.

Don't panic or brake suddenly. This could slow the progress of the emergency vehicle, and put yourself and other road users in danger.

If you are able, pull over to the side of the road, indicating beforehand and keeping any eye out for pedestrians and cyclists. However don't pull over on or near to a hill, bend or narrow section of the road.

Don't mount the kerb unless you absolutely have to and, even then, only if you are certain that you won't put pedestrians at risk.

If you are approaching a roundabout allow the emergency vehicle to reach, navigate and leave before you enter the roundabout yourself.

If you are about to emerge from a side road, stay where you are until an emergency vehicle on the main road has passed, even if you can only hear it at this point. Don't take chances, it will be difficult to judge their speed.

On a dual-carriageway or motorway you should move over to a nearside lane by signalling your intention and merging with vehicles already there.  Don't cut in front of other vehicles, they may not yet be aware of the approaching emergency vehicle.

On a road with double white line system, and the line nearest you is solid, maintain a safe speed and do not exceed the limit.  The emergency vehicle will remain behind and may turn off the sirens or lights.  If you can safely pull off the road, signal your intention and then pull off.  Otherwise wait until the white lines change priority, or end, then find a place to stop, slow down or pull over to allow the vehicle to pass, signalling your intention as before.

After the emergency vehicle has passed check there are no more vehicles coming before you continue - there may be more than one going to the same incident.

Wait until it is safe to do so, then indicate as necessary and rejoin your route.

National Campaign and Information

The Governments Think! Road Safety website offers a wide range of advice relating to in car safety. Click here to visit this site.

Additional web links:

Royal Society for the Prevention of AccidentsRoSPA's Road Safety Department raises awareness about the causes of road accidents and promotes measures to help prevent them or reduce their severity. We provide information, education, training and publicity resources and services for road users and road safety professionals.

Driving Standards Agency
The Driving Standards Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport (DfT) and is part of the Driver, Vehicle and Operator (DVO) group.
 
THINK! road safety website
News of our latest campaigns and road safety advice to keep everyone safer on the UK's roads