We don't want to have to cut you from the wreckage of a car, and we don't want you to have to live with the knowledge that you could have prevented a crash that saw someone else lose their life. That's why providing road safety advice is so important to London Fire Brigade – and our firefighters.
There are five main causes of serious injuries and deaths on the roads.
Travelling too fast for conditions caused 5579 collisions in Great Britain 2016, and 102 fatalities.
Exceeding the speed limit caused 5102 collisions in Great Britain 2016, and 229 fatalities.
Distracted drivers using mobile phones – caused 478 collisions in Great Britain 2016, 780 casualties, 35 fatalities
Data source: Department for Transport - Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2016
Even if you're moving slowly, your car can kill a pedestrian or cyclist.
Slow down on roads where there are likely to be a lot of pedestrians, especially near schools and shopping centres or places where people may behave erratically, like outside clubs, bars and restaurants. Don't assume that people will stay out of your way. Drive defensively, and you could save a life.
It is illegal and dangerous to use your mobile phone whilst driving – don’t take the risk. You can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine, but worse still, you might cause a fatal accident. Find out more about driving and mobile phone use.
Watch out for bikers and cyclists – they are more vulnerable than larger vehicles.
Use your lights when visibility is poor (not just at night) – this helps you to see and be seen. Don’t forget to keep them clean too, build-up of dirt and grime can really reduce their effectiveness.
Keep your distance – stopping distances vary in different conditions. Give yourself time to think, react and slow down or stop if necessary. Remember stopping distances can be doubled on wet roads and be up to 10x times further in icy conditions.
Tired drivers can create dangerous situations for themselves and others on the road, leading to accidents, injuries and even fatalities. If you have a long journey, plan to have a break every two hours.
Here's what to do if there is an accident or you break down.
It can be scary and stressful if your car breaks down, especially if it's on a busy road. It's good to know in advance what you should do in a breakdown:
If you're travelling with kids, keep them safe and strapped in. The law requires all children travelling in the front or rear seat of any car, van or goods vehicle must use the correct child car seat until they are either 135 cm in height or 12 years old (whichever they reach first). After this they should use an adult seat belt – it's your responsibility to make sure they do.