Here are some tips to help keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Refresh your memory on road safety guidance before setting off on your journey, particularly if conditions are different to normal, for example bad weather.

Top 10 road safety tips

1. Speed

Always stick to speed limits. You are twice as likely to kill someone at 35mph than at 30mph, so even a small increase in speed can make a huge difference.

The RAC's stopping distance made simple can help you understand how long it takes to stop at different speeds. 

2. Distance 

As a rule, keep 2 seconds behind the car in front, and double this if the weather is bad. You can work this out by taking note of when the car passes a post or other landmark, and counting 2 seconds. You should not pass the same spot before 2 seconds. 

Always leave enough space to react to a sudden hazard.

3. Mobile phones

Do not use your phone whilst driving as it is a dangerous distraction. Using a phone whilst driving makes you four times more likely to be in a crash.

If you are caught using a mobile phone whilst driving, you will be given 6 points and a £200 fine. You will lose your license if you have passed your test in the last 2 years. 

Hands-free systems can take up to 40% of mental resource away from the task of driving and therefore also pose a risk to your safety. If you need to make a call, find a safe place to park first.

It is also important that pedestrians remember to give the road their full attention and are not distracted by their phone whilst out walking. Take particular care when crossing a road as using your phone can increase your chance of being in a collision with a bike or vehicle. 

Brake provide more information on the risks, the law and penalties of using a mobile whilst driving.

4. Drink driving

It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They greatly impair your perception and reaction time.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents it is the biggest single factor in road deaths in the UK, particularly among young drivers. 

5. Be aware

Remember to always use your mirrors whilst driving, parking, or manoeuvring. Be especially aware when overtaking or turning a corner for vulnerable people such as cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

Top tip: use the hand furthest from the door to open it, so that your body turns and you will be able to see anyone coming.

6. Schools and children

Always slow down when driving near a school or an area where children are. Remind children to be aware of cars and to take extra care when walking to or from school. 

The RAC provides the ultimate school run guide.

7. Tiredness

Tiredness can kill and can be as dangerous as drink driving. 1 in 5 accidents on major roads are caused by tiredness. Make sure to take regular breaks when driving for a long distance, and do not drive if you are too tired.

The AA has more helpful tips on how to avoid driver fatigue.

8. Seatbelts and car seats

Make sure all passengers are wearing seatbelts before setting off. Backseat passengers can kill those in the front seat if they are not wearing a seatbelt.

Always make sure car seats are properly fitted and the child is secure. UK law states that children must use a car seat until they're 12 years old or 135cm/4ft 5in tall, whichever comes first.

9. Walking safely

As a pedestrian always be aware of what is going on around you, look both ways and wait to cross a road. Make sure you can hear and see what is coming. Avoid walking between cars.

Always give cars and bikes right of way as they are less likely to be harmed if they do not stop.

10. Weather conditions

Be aware of how different weather conditions affect the road, and check your vehicle is fit for the season.

If there is water on the road and you lose control, do not brake and ease off the accelerator until you gain control. 

Brush up on what to do if you find yourself in bad weather with the RAC's guides to driving in heavy rain and keeping safe in snow.