You, the Driver:
- Is your driving licence valid?
- Remember, driving is a complex task so you need to be fresh, aware of other road users and conditions
- Recognise your own limitations e.g. fatigue - never drive while tired
- Get into the habit of turning your mobile off before putting the key into the ignition (maybe leave a voicemail saying you will pick up messages every two hours)
- Concentrate and anticipate - your observation skills will improve and give you space and time e.g. avoid being in the blind-spot of other vehicles
- Never ever drink and drive!
- Enjoy driving responsibly -
- Your driving style should be 'consistent' and 'smooth'
- Drive on the left - unless turning right or overtaking
- Remember the '2 second rule' in dry conditions - nobody likes being tailgating
- Always be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear - watch out for bends and hills
- Is it necessary?
- Can you combine journeys (and reduce your CO2 'tyreprint')?
- Take time to plan your trip e.g. which routes, the best time to avoid traffic and ensure adequate rests
- Check the weather forecast e.g. your braking distance in the rain will be compromised
- Drive at appropriate speeds for prevailing conditions - the speed limit is not a target!
- Is it safe and legal?
- Do you complete a visual check including petrol/diesel, oil, water, electrics and rubber (e.g. tyres, wiper-blades) - sometimes called a 'P.O.W.E.R.' check - at least once a week?
- Ensure you sit comfortably, within reach all controls and that your head restraint is adjusted correctly.
- Familiarise yourself with the safety features fitted to the vehicle (e.g. read the vehicle manual and check the control panel when starting the engine).
- Remember, as the driver, you have complete responsibility for the vehicle under your control.
Please note: the list above is not intended to be exhaustive and you may need to be consider other factors!
For example, while driving in winter:
- Keep warm and comfortable to help concentration
- In potentially snowy conditions, consider bringing warm drinks, food, blanket and other equipment
- Let friends or family know your intended route and 'ETA'
- Keep your windows and mirrors free of snow, ice or condensation
- Keep your lights on dipped and ensure they are clean
- Stopping distances increase up to 10 times on icy roads
- Consider microclimates where the road is shaded
- Accelerate, brake and steer with respect to avoid skidding