It’s a good idea to remind yourself of the Rules of the Road every so often. You may have forgotten certain best driving practises over the years as we all slide into driving habits, both good and bad.
Forgetful drivers can be a real danger to other road users and pedestrians, so it’s important to make sure that you drive as safely as possible at all times. As a driver it’s your responsibility to make sure that you are adhering to the rules of the road so refresh your memory with our seven top driving tips below…
1. Use your indicators!
It’s important to always indicate to give a clear signal of your driving intentions to other road users. Make sure that you signal in good time to reduce the risk of an accident. Indicators should be used when taking off from a stationary position, changing lanes, turning left or right and when using roundabouts. Make sure that your indicators are always working correctly before setting out on a journey.
2. Use roundabouts safely
Once everyone uses them correctly, roundabouts reduce delays and make sure that traffic flows smoothly. The main rule is to always give way to traffic on your right. If there are road markings showing you what lane you should be in, follow those directions. Otherwise, you can follow the rules below:
If you are taking an exit on the left side, approach the roundabout in the left lane and stay in the left lane until you exit. Make sure you indicate left and always make sure it is safe to exit the roundabout by checking your mirrors and blind spots.
If you are taking an exit on the right side, approach the roundabout in the right lane and remain in the right lane until you exit. Make sure you indicate right as you make your way around the roundabout and then signal left when you wish to exit. Again, always make sure it is safe to exit the roundabout by checking your mirrors and blind spots.
3. Use the right lane correctly on motorways and dual carriageways
Make sure to only use the right lane when turning right or when overtaking. It is not a fast lane and should not be used in this way. Always make sure that it is safe to enter the right lane by checking your mirrors and blind spots and always indicate before moving your vehicle.
4. Always stop at a stop-sign
Stop signs are located at the junctions of major roads.
You must always stop your car completely at a stop sign, no matter how quiet the road might appear. Many drivers confuse stop signs with yield signs.
A yield sign signals that you must stop your car to give way to any traffic on a major road ahead and you must not proceed onto the main road until it is safe to do so.
5. Stop at an amber light
An amber traffic light appears before a red traffic light. When preparing to take off you must not go beyond the stop line or traffic light once it turns amber. If it is safer to continue
rather than stop when the light first turns amber, you can proceed, otherwise you must stop.
6. Stay to the left of a continuous white line
A continuous white line divides two lanes of traffic travelling in opposite directions. All traffic must remain to the left of a continuous white line and motorists should not attempt to overtake another car. A short broken white line can be crossed but only when it is safe to do so.
7. The two second rule
Have you ever had to brake sharply because the vehicle in front started to slow down? This can mean that you may have been following this vehicle too closely and not giving yourself time to react in a safe manner.
A way to check that you are giving yourself enough space is the ‘Two Second Rule’. To do this, choose a stationary object as a marker, when the vehicle in front of you passes this marker, you count how many seconds it takes you to reach the same place. In dry conditions, this should be at least two seconds, in other driving conditions such as a damp road, you should increase this to five seconds.
Applying this general minimum guide, creates time and space which allows you to have sufficient time to react to other road users.
Remember: slowing down helps you to control the driving environment and protects you and other road users.