Various factors can affect your driving ability or mean that you are less safe on the roads. Below are some of the most common ones.
Did you know?
- Your body works off alcohol at a rate of roughly one unit per hour regardless of what you've eaten, whether you exercise, drink black coffee, sleep or have a cold shower
- Time is the only way to get alcohol out of your system so if you've had a heavy night or a few drinks at lunchtime, consider whether you should be driving
- You don't have to be drunk to be a drink driver - don't believe us? Read the stories of Leon, Amy, Colin and Ryan at: www.over-the-limit.co.uk
- During December 2011, 152 people were arrested under suspicion of drink driving and 45 were involved in collisions.
If you're driving, the only safe level is zero.
Mix up a mocktail
Make no excuses this festive season, make the perfect non-alcoholic cocktail - or mocktail - using our mocktail recipes [PDF].
Effects of alcohol
If you're going to drink, arrange another means of transport so that you don't have to drive. Your driving is seriously affected when you've been drinking alcohol. This is because alcohol:
Don't risk drinking and driving or riding.
Consequences of drink driving
The consequences of drink driving could be worse than you think. See the panel to the left to find out how it could affect your life and download our drink driving leaflet [PDF]
The Directgov Think! website contains facts and information about drinking and driving and what the limits and penalties are. See: http://think.direct.gov.uk/drink-driving.html
Driving under the influence of drugs, whether illegal or prescribed, is just as dangerous as drink driving. Check the instructions on the packet or bottle for side effects before driving. Never take illegal drugs before driving. The effects are unpredictable and can include:
The Directgov Think! website contains information on how drugs affect your driving ability, how the police can spot a drug driver and what the penalties are if you get caught: http://drugdrive.direct.gov.uk/
Between 2006 and 2010 there were 2,021 casualties on Nottinghamshire’s roads involved in collisions where the vehicle they were in was travelling too fast for the road conditions or speeding. 51 percent were aged 16-29 years old, including 25 fatalities.
The difference of a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death. The faster you are driving, the less time you have to stop if something unexpected happens.
Speed limits are there for a reason and are the absolute maximum you should be driving. It does not mean it’s safe to drive at that speed regardless of the conditions. Driving too fast for the road conditions can be dangerous.
The Directgov Think! website contains facts and information about speeding and the consequences: http://think.direct.gov.uk/speed.html
It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving. If you use a mobile phone while driving your attention will be distracted from the road. Reaction times for drivers using a phone are around 50 percent slower than in normal driving.
The Directgov Think! website contains facts and information about using a mobile phone while driving, including the penalties if you are caught: http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html
Always wear a seatbelt. In a crash you are twice as likely to die if you don’t.
The law states that you must wear a seatbelt if one is available, unless you are exempt.
The Directgov Think! website contains facts, a crash simulator and the law on who should wear a seatbelt and when you may be exempt: http://think.direct.gov.uk/seat-belts.html
Young drivers aged 17-24 account for over 26 percent of all killed or seriously injured car drivers in Nottinghamshire.
The ‘No more lives wasted’ website is aimed at both potential and young drivers and provides useful advice on:
Go to the site: www.nomoreliveswasted.com
Virtual driving experience
1 in 5 drivers crash within the first 12 months of passing their test. Prepare for in-car lessons by using Drive IQ - free state of the art online software providing a virtual driving experience which helps with:
- Driving awareness
- Coping with distraction
- Improving observations
- Avoiding crashes.
Studies have shown that drivers don’t fall asleep without warning. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel have often tried to fight off drowsiness by opening a window, or by turning up the radio. This doesn’t work for long.
The Directgov Think! website contains advice on what you can do if you’re feeling tired while driving: http://think.direct.gov.uk/fatigue.html
Car drivers and horse riders both have a right to use the road. By considering each others' needs and following some basic advice, drivers and riders can help avoid accidents involving horses on the road.
The Directgov Think! website contains facts and advice for both drivers and horse riders when sharing the road: http://think.direct.gov.uk/horses.html