Here at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service we have a commitment, with partners, to reduce the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.
Inexperienced drivers and distraction is a lethal cocktail
You may think you’re used to multi-tasking: but texting and using the internet while you’re watching TV isn’t the same as doing so while you’re behind the wheel. Your reaction times are 50 per cent slower while talking on a phone and you’re four times more likely to be involved in a collision if you use a mobile while driving.
Distracted driving isn’t just dangerous for you – it puts your passengers, other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians at risk too.
Whether you’re young or old, using a mobile phone, texting, using in-vehicle technologies (such as satnavs) and even eating can distract you from the road. Even if it’s just for a few seconds – that’s all it takes to have or cause a collision .
- There’s no safe way to use a phone whilst driving – turn it off or put it on silent, and put it out of reach
- Be a safe passenger – let the driver focus on the road
- Just drive – eating, drinking and smoking whilst driving reduces your reaction time
- Set your satnav or your sound system before you drive. If you need to adjust them, pull over in a safe place.
Top tips for young drivers
- Always wear a seatbelt. Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision even on short familiar journeys.
- Don’t get distracted. Taking your eyes off the road to check your phone, sat nav or music player could be very dangerous.
- Don't drink and drive and be aware that you may still be over the limit the morning after. If you’re going out with friends arrange to have a designated non-drinking driver.
- Check both the tyre pressure and tyre tread every month
- Taking further training after you’ve passed your test will increase your safety. For more information see the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership website.
- Always drive within the speed limit and reduce your speed according to the conditions. Make sure you allow enough time for every journey and always stick to the speed limit.
- Never take drugs and drive. This would be a cocktail for disaster as drugs greatly affect reaction times, concentration and may cause confusion.
- Don’t try and impress your mates. Having friends in the car can encourage you to take more risks, remember their safety is your responsibility
- Consider using “P” plates. Using “P” plates after you have passed your test so other road users know there is an inexperienced driver at the wheel. This can encourage them to take extra caution and decrease the risk of being involved in a collision.
Driving plays a significant role in our daily lives, yet it's crucial to acknowledge that our driving skills change over time due to various factors, particularly as we age. It is important for us to identify and understand the changes occurring in our driving abilities, enabling us to prioritise safety for ourselves and those around us.
For more information, visit the Safer Roads Partnership advice for mature drivers.
- Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership has its own dedicated website where you can find out all you need to know about road safety, whether you’re a driver, a parent or a teacher
- North Staffs Advanced Motorists are one of over 200 local advanced motoring groups which aim to improve driving standards by promoting a voluntary driving test above the L-Test standard
- Road Safety Week is held annually by road safety charity Brake who aim to prevent collisions through education and campaigns, and support those affected by fatal or serious injury collisions
- The Counselling Directory is a resource for those looking for support or general advice about counselling after being involved in, or losing someone, in a road traffic collision
- The Central Government Department for Transport has a responsibility to reduce road deaths by educating and publicising a variety of marketing campaigns