Advice for Drivers



DRINK DRIVING

If you drive and are planning to have a drink it is strongly recommended that you leave the car at home. Alcohol can affect different people in different ways; it can affect your co- ordination, reaction times and judgment.


YOUNG DRIVERS

Around 24,000 young people in Scotland pass their practical driving tests annually - young people account for 5% of license holders. Around 20% of new drivers in Scotland will be involved in an accident in their first year of driving alone. Young drivers should take particular care on the road, especially on the A77 as it has many different users and a varying speed limit. Remember if your friends encourage you to take risks and you are involved in an accident it will be you and you alone who is responsible and will face the repercusions. Concentrate - do not become a statistic.


LONG JOURNEYS

  • If you have a long journey ahead or are driving in the dark choose upbeat music - slower music can make you drowsy or tired
  • When you are driving try not to have your music up too loud - you need your full concentration when driving
  • Take extra care when approaching junctions and slip roads, especially on the A77 as several local roads with slower traffic merge with the A77.


KIDS IN THE CAR
  • Always make sure young passengers are wearing seatbelts
  • Ensure that young children have plenty to entertain to prevent them from distracting the driver
  • If your kids get carsick try and get them to focus on the horizon as opposed to what is directly outside the window as this often causes sickness, try and make sure the car is cool with fresh air circulating.


CAR MAINTENANCE
  • Make sure that your car's MOT, road tax and insurance are up to date
  • Ensure your car is in good condition has the sufficient levels of oil and water as well as the correct tyre pressures and tread
  • Check your petrol before you set off, and make sure you have a note of what service stations are on the route
  • Always make sure your car has a good quality spare

IF YOU BREAKDOWN

  • Pull on to the hard shoulder and put you hazard lights on. Take everything you need (jacket/mobile phone) and exit your car via the passenger door
  • Stand on the embankment or a few metres back from the road. If you have a mobile call your breakdown assistance, if not walk to the nearest SOS phone, which is free
  • Do not try to fix your vehicle on the hard shoulder, wait for assistance


TRY TO BE A GOOD DRIVER
  • Try not to get frustrated if you get stuck behind a slower vehicle. If you drive too closely to the car in front you will only make the driver nervous which in turn will make them more concerned with what is happening behind than in front.
  • Always indicate when changing lanes, regardless of whether you think someone is behind you - there could be a motorcyclist in your blind spot.
  • Only use the middle lane and outside lane to over take - not to coast along in.

    * Source from www.alcohol-focus-scotland.org.uk

    WINTER DRIVING

    In winter it is even more important to check that your vehicle is well maintained and serviced so plan ahead
  • Keep your lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow
  • Add anti-freeze to your car radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer bottle
  • Make sure that your wipers and lights are in good working order
  • Check that your tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure
  • Listen to weather and travel reports for forecast and road condition information
  • Carry warm clothing, blankets, hot drinks, a torch and suitable footwear
  • If you have to make a journey in bad weather then make sure you tell someone where you are going and what route you plan to take

During your journey

  • Reduce speed in bad weather
  • Increase stopping distances
  • Avoid sudden acceleration and braking
  • Use dipped headlights in poor conditions
  • Listen to travel bulletins for up-to-date information
  • Observe information on Variable Message Sign

If you become stranded
  • Ensure that your vehicle will not block access as abandoned vehicles can obstruct gritters and snow ploughs
  • If possible remain in your vehicle unless you believe that your safety is at risk
  • Maintain circulation by moving about
  • Use the engine to keep warm, unless your exhaust is blocked

Don't forget - watch out for fog


  • It drifts rapidly and is often patchy
  • In foggy conditions drive very slowly using dipped headlights
  • Use fog-lights if visibility is seriously reduced, but switch off when visibility improves
  • Don't hang onto the tail-lights of the vehicle in front. This gives you a false sense of security and means that you may be driving too close.
  • Don't speed up suddenly even if the fog appears to be lifting - another patch could be just along the road

Don't forget - winter sun
  • Dazzle from winter sun can be dangerous - if it is below the visor use sunglasses

Don't forget - flooding
  • Don't attempt to cross if the water seems too deep
  • Drive slowly in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch - this will stop you from stalling
  • Avoid the deepest water which is usually near the kerb
  • Test your brakes when you are through the flood, before you drive at normal speed
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