This advice is circulated time and time again across the region, however we are still seeing an unspeakable number of road incidents that are preventable. According to a survey from the RAC an astonishing 25% of drivers admitted using their mobile phone whilst driving within the past year. This is contributing to an upsetting number of fatalities in our area every single year. All of these incidents are avoidable, yet many choose to bypass the laws and common sense given to them.
Local government advice surrounding dangerous driving cannot be reiterated enough. Similarly, The dangers of drink driving have been highlighted by a Shropshire lawyer here, but this is less about the evenings and more about the morning after. There are so many things that can go wrong whilst driving, but please don’t let it be you behind the wheel. You may be putting innocent people at risk, especially those who are seemingly more vulnerable such as cyclists and children. Take a moment to read through some of this useful information and let’s keep our roads safe for everyone in the year 2020.
Keeping children safe on the road
One of the most important topics to start with is the safety of little ones on our roads. If you’re driving with a young child, you need to make sure you’re using the correct car seat for the height, age and weight. If you fail to install a car seat for your child, you are breaking the law and putting them in danger. As well as investing in the correct seat, you also need to make sure the car you are driving feels safe and secure to you. The SEAT Leon has firmly established itself in the family hatchback segment as safe, reliable and stylish; this is certainly a good option if you’re looking for a mixture of features.
What’s happening in Birmingham
We have seen many steps being taken towards making the roads safer for children over the recent years as the Birmingham office of national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP, donated a life changing amount of teaching tools towards two local schools. This was done with the aim to help teachers show their pupils how to stay safe whilst out and about on the roads.
The two schools that benefited from this generous donation were Moat Farm Junior School in Oldbury and Christ Church CE Primary School in Sparkbrook. The contributions and resources from Roadwise proved to be extremely helpful. They consisted of detailed teaching packs that had a wealth of information for pupils aged six to eleven.
This tailored road safety education has made a huge impact on these Birmingham schools, but there is only so much that children themselves can do. Unfortunately, bad decisions on the roads are usually made by adults and children often have no control over this whatsoever. Whilst it’s incredibly important that children understand the ins and outs of road safety, this sort of educational material may need to be distributed to wider audience.
With this being said, there is significant research that proves excellent, early education on road safety can play a huge role in keeping youngsters safe when they are out and about. Anytime a serious incident happens in our area, it can have a knock on effect on the entire community. This is why children and experienced drivers need to work together to tackle unnecessary road incidents together.
Government advice for drivers
Advice from the local government needs to be reiterated time and time again to ensure that our roads remain as safe as possible. One of the first notable safety precautions that should be mentioned evolves around cyclists.
When you’re sharing the road with a cyclist you need to be aware of several different factors. Both cyclists and drivers need to work together to create a cohesive and safe road environment, no matter what. As local government advice suggests you should always wear reflective clothing, lights on your bike and a helmet as a cyclist. This will ensure that any approaching drivers can see you clearly especially in the fog, during the evenings and during snow flurries.
Respecting cyclists as a driver
You must remember that cyclists are allowed to use the road just as much as you are in a motorised vehicle. Make sure you give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking as it can make them feel extremely uneasy when you get to close to them. Even when there is nobody behind you, always use your indicators to show where you are turning or when you’re passing a cyclist on the road. Legally, a cyclist is allowed to take up as much of the lane as is needed; often this is done to prevent cars from overtaking them during dangerous bends and in tricky areas.
You always need to stay on top of your observation skills when driving, especially if you’re taking note of cyclists. Make sure you check your mirrors and blind spot whenever you make a maneuver. Cyclists can go unnoticed at junctions too, so make sure you are always hyper aware of where they could be coming from.
Take home message
You may not think you are acting recklessly or doing anything wrong whilst driving, but you might be putting cyclists and young children at risk if you don’t know the rules of the road. Visit our local government website for even more detail on driving carefully around cyclists; there are many things you may not have considered before.
Think of the local families in our area and how devastating it must be for those who are involved in these fatal collisions. Ultimately, it the down to the driver to take responsibility every time he or she gets behind the wheel. If you’re going to take home any advice today, it would be to act responsibly at all times. Use your driving privileges wisely and think carefully before you make any decisions about driving dangerously. Together we can all make the roads of the Midlands enjoyable, safe and smooth for everybody.