Car Safety in The UK
Following on from our article on how to avoid crashing your car we take an in depth look at car safety in the UK and discuss the issues and what you need to do to ensure your car is safe. Every year in the UK there are thousands of car accidents, and many people are killed or injured. The government and car manufacturers are working hard to make cars safer, but there are still things that drivers can do to help keep themselves and their passengers safe as well as safer for other drivers on our UK roads.
Wearing a Seatbelt
An important and necessary factor (and as required by law.) is that drivers and passengers wear a seatbelt. These are an effective way of preventing serious injury or even fatalities and as it is a compulsory requirement of driving a car in the UK it should be always worn by everyone in the vehicle, (as well as pets being secured properly within the vehicle) otherwise the driver will face a stiff penalty resulting in points on their licence as well as a fine.
Adhere to Speed Limits
Another factor to take into consideration is the need to drive carefully and within the speed limit, avoiding being distracted as well as fully aware of other road users, including horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians trying to cross. Watching for potential hazards is also key to driving safely and there have been several new laws introduced to encourage better road safety including not tailgating (driving too close to the vehicle in front.) zero tolerance on the use of mobile phones, (it is now an offence to even hold a phone whilst driving whether in a call or not.) and consuming drinks or food whilst driving.
Vehicle Manufacturers Making Cars Safer
Also, car manufacturers are taking a stance on working harder to make our cars safer on the road, this involves developing newer technologies for airbag deployment as well as anti-lock breaking systems and awareness sensors that can help prevent potential accidents as well as reduce the severity of injuries should the car be in a collision. This is also backed by several safety standards set by the government that all cars are required to meet.
By following these tips, drivers can help to keep themselves and their passengers safe on the roads.
Additional Driving Safely Tips.
- Here are some additional tips for car safety in the UK:
- Make sure your car is kept in good working order, this includes regular checks of brakes, lights, indicators, and tyres.
- Be vigilant of your surroundings by paying attention to other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users.
- Drive at a safe speed. The speed limit is there for a reason – it’s the safest speed to drive at in most conditions.
- Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol impairs your ability to drive safely.
- Don’t use your phone while driving. This is a major distraction and can lead to accidents as well as now being illegal even to have it in your hand whilst in control of a motor vehicle.
- Be patient. Don’t get angry or frustrated with other drivers. This can lead to dangerous driving or taking unnecessary risks that can lead to an accident.
By following these tips, you can help to keep yourself and others safe on the roads.
Car Safety Through The Ages
The first ever introduction of car safety was a runner, literally a person ahead of the vehicle waving a flag to let pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages that a motor vehicle was coming through. Since then, car safety has seen many changes to what is known today as vehicle safety technology, we look at some of the key elements of what has changed over the years to what is considered standard safety features today.
In 1920 The Protex Safety Signal Company started manufacturing flashing turn signals for cars. However, it wasn’t until 1989 that it was made legal as a statutory requirement.
These came about in 1905 although were not made a compulsory requirement until 1953 under The Road Transport Lighting Act
The Seat Belt law was introduced on the 31st of January 1983. However, seatbelts were first invented in the 1800’s by UK engineer George Cayley for glider pilots and the first patented seatbelt for cars was introduced in 1885 for New York taxis, to keep their passengers safe.
Although not a legal requirement of existing cars, air bags were first invented for cars in 1951 which could be released either by the driver or when coming into contact with another car.
Crumple zones were introduced in 1952 (a year after the airbag) and was the creation of Mercedes Benz engineer, Bela Barenyi. The concept was for the bodywork to absorb the force of the crash thus protecting the driver and passengers from severe impacts.
In todays’ modern cars there are many types of sensors, in fact most cars run their own computer system. As part of the safety systems today, there are anti collision AI (artificial intelligence.) where in avoiding collision the AI will apply the brakes, there are also parking assist sensors, as well as tyre pressure sensors and much more. As technology moves forward, so does the application to car safety technology.
Of course, with car safety technology, the ultimate responsibility for safety in your car always remains with the driver as well as other road users.