|Me and my beloved Renault 4 on the day I passed my driving test|
It’s time to brush up on your driving knowledge! Whether you’ve just obtained your driving licence or have years of experience behind the wheel, now is a great time to see just how much you know about proper driving behaviour and the rules of the road. For this short review session, we’ll cover the general as well as the legal do’s and don’ts of driving. Let’s get started!
- Make sure your licence, insurance and MOT are always up to date.
- Read up on the official rules of the road, especially those of the county where you’re headed off to. Follow the rules; you can’t make an excuse that you “didn’t know” about the regulations. Remember that it’s your responsibility as a driver to know the rules—especially the speed limits—and abide by them. These days it’s so easy to brush up on the knowledge needed as a driver with free online resources – you can also look up road signs or markings you’re unfamiliar with.
- Always wear your seatbelt. Keep children snug and safe in government tested and approved car seats appropriate for their respective age and size. To make a long ride bearable, take frequent breaks and supply them with things they can do (an iPad helps!).
- Give priority to traffic coming in from the right when approaching a roundabout, unless indicated otherwise.
- Give pedestrians the right-of-way and be aware of people walking at the side of the road who could walk out at any time. You should always stop to let a pedestrian cross a zebra crossing.
- Be courteous toward other motorists. Use turn signals to let the motorists around you know what you’re planning to do.
- Give way to emergency services vehicles by giving them plenty of space to pass.
- Be prepared for any emergencies. Keep an emergency kit, which includes a mobile phone (fully charged and able to make emergency calls), a flashlight with extra batteries, food and water, an early warning device, flares, and blankets.
- Make sure your spare tyre is in good condition and that you have the proper tools needed, such as a jack and a wheel wrench, to change a flat tyre.
- Drink and drive. If you’re planning to have a night out, take a taxi home or have someone pick you up. Never get in a vehicle with a driver who has obviously been drinking. Drugs are a no-no as well: under the new drug-driving laws, you’ll get a criminal record and you’ll be banned from driving for a certain time period. Your licence will be confiscated and you can be fined up to £5,000.
- Use your phone and drive at the same time. If you need to take a call, pull over at a safe area first.
- Eat, put on makeup, do your hair, change clothes, or play Candy Crush while driving—in other words, don’t engage in activities that distract your attention.
- Leave valuables in the car, such as jewellery, money, and laptops, no matter how secure the parking space seems to be. A thief’s eyes will light up if they see such items on show.
- Run a red light, even if there seems to be no other car. The lights are there for a reason and must be obeyed.
- Tailgate other vehicles. Putting pressure on other roads users could force an accident and if the person in front needs to break quickly you’ll be in trouble.
- Leave your main beam on at all times in the dark. It’s fine to use this to help you see where you are going but don’t dazzle an oncoming vehicle.