Don't drink / use drugs and drive
Alcohol affects your ability to drive. You risk a fine of up to £5,000, a minimum 12-month driving ban and a criminal record.
Driving while unfit through drugs (illegal, prescribed or over-the-counter) is an offence which carries the same penalty as drink driving. If you take medicine for an illness, ask the doctor or chemist about side effects before you drive. New drug drive legislation came into force in March 2015 which includes 8 prescription drugs and makes it easier for police to catch and convict drug drivers.
To find out more visit the following websites:
- Think! Campaigns
- Think! - Mates Matter Campaign
- Safer Roads Drug Driving
- Morning after calculator on the Morning After website - helps you find out if you're safe to drive after a night of driving, if in doubt don't drive
Don't drive and use your mobile phone
Research suggests that if you are using a mobile phone while driving you are four times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Other research has shown that driver’s reaction times are up to 50% slower than normal when driving and using a mobile phone and that your reaction times are 30% worse than when driving under the influence of alcohol.
It is dangerous because a telephone conversation (or texting) distracts from the mental concentration needed to drive safely. You put yourself and other road users in danger.
You’re twice as likely to crash text driving as you are drink driving. You wouldn’t drink and drive. Don’t text and drive.
THINK! has launched a new campaign to reduce handheld phone use amongst young drivers and coincide with a strengthening of the law around mobile phone use behind the wheel. Take a look at the campaign here for further advice. From 25 March 2022, it will be illegal to use a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel.
Zero tolerance for phone use behind the wheel as law changes from 25 March 2022
From 25 March 2022, motorists are breaking the law if they use a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel for any use, including to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games – as the government closes a loophole previously exploited by dangerous drivers to escape conviction.
Anyone caught using their handheld device while driving could face a fine of up to £1,000 as well as 6 points on their licence or a full driving ban.
Statistics show that new drivers are more likely to have an accident in the first two years after passing their test, due to lack of driving experience. Drivers who have passed their test in the last 2 years who acquire 6 points on their licence, will need to re-take their test - further details can be found here.
For pre-driving training - see Drive Start courses under Events.
First Car have published Young Drivers' Guide and Learning to Drive - The Parent's Guide
Get Your Coat App
Download Get Your Coat App a mobile phone app which provides intelligent travel planning, reminders and support for a great day, or night out.
Use the app to:
- Set a designated driver who you can contact with one touch of a button, either phoning them or sending a message containing your location
- Set your preferred taxi firm - if you can't get through or are visiting an area they don't cover, you can quickly search for and call other local taxi numbers
- Have the app send you reminders for your train or bus 30 minutes before they depart - the countdown timer means you know exactly how much time you have left
- Keep in touch - if you lose your friends or feel unsafe, you can quickly send a message including your location to friends or family
- Let family and friends know you've arrived at your destination with the touch of a button
- Use the built-in drinks tracker to keep an eye on how much you've had
- Search for alternative transport and find links to help and support
Winter driving check list
- Check your tyres - correct tyre pressure for your car is on Tyre Safe website
- Make sure your windscreen and lights are clean
- Keep an ice scraper and de-icer in your car
- Pack an emergency kit including torch and batteries, warm clothes and blanket, boots, first aid kit, jump leads, mobile phone charger, and a drink, reflective warning triangle, shovel, road map, sunglasses and any medication you might need
Find out more:
- The Winter Driving postcard can found under Related Downloads for useful winter driving tips
- Safer Roads - Winter
- RoSPA - advice on vehicles
- Tyre Safe Website
- Think! website - vehicle safety checks
- Automobile Association (AA) website - tips about safe winter driving and car maintenance
- The Home Safely on Safe Tyres campaign website highlights the importance of tyres in keeping drivers and their young passengers safe while on the roads. It also emphasises to all drivers entrusted with child care that it is their responsibility to check the condition of their car’s tyres
- The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency website
Rules for riding a motorcycle
Visit the Gov.uk website motorcycle rules to find out about the rules for riding a motorcycle.
Always wear a helmet. It could save your life.
To find out more about motorcycle helmets and the law see:
Ride Free: online motorcycle training to improve road safety
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have announced the introduction of Ride Free, a free online training course which you should complete before going for Compulsory Basic Training (CBT). The training consists of five pre-course eLearning modules. Full details of the course and how to enrol can be found here.
Ride Free has been developed by DVSA, Highways England and other partners to help new riders prepare for a lifetime of safe riding.
Find out more
- Safer rider website - general safety advice for motorcyclists
- RoSPA website - advice for learner motorcyclists
- YouTube website never too good to be a better rider video - watch the latest Think! film
First Car have published some magazines for further reading:
Driving is one of the most dangerous activities you will do in a working day. Up to a third of road accidents involve someone that is at work at the time. Ensuring the safety of people that drive for work is the responsibility of the employer but the driver must also be sure that their vehicle is safe and fit for purpose to remain safe and to stay within the law. See Driving for Better Business for advice on what to look out for before driving.
Keeping up to date with modern motoring is essential to remaining safe on the roads. Taking note of an up-to-date highway code will be essential to understand modern traffic with active traffic management being just one of the things that have adapted the way we drive. With age eyesight may deteriorate and this is where it is essential to get regular eye tests in order to maintain your vision. Age can also effect ability to judge speed and it is also necessary to check the effects of any medication you may be taking on your driving for your and other road users safety.
For more information about driver independence and the support that is available, please visit our Safer Roads website
First Car have published DriveOn - The Essential Guide to Driving
Older Drivers Forum
In November 2020 the Older Drivers Forum ran three webinars to give help and support to the older motorist and their families and friends to help them carry on driving safely for longer. The webinars were part of supporting the National Road Safety Week, run by Brake as well as the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Vulnerable road user campaign.
These three webinars can be viewed here.
Full table of changes to the highway code
Reported road casualties in Great Britain, 2020 data