Cars have become part of our daily life; we use them
more to travel to work, to take children to school, to go shopping
or for leisure.
Travelling in cars is so convenient that we often forget the
- By wearing seat belts, we greatly reduce the risk of injury if
a collision happens whilst travelling in the car
- Nearly half of all children killed or injured in traffic
incidents are passengers in cars. Wearing correct restraints
reduces the risk of injury to children by up to 65%
- Drivers are responsible by law for making sure that any child
under 14 years old travelling in the car is properly
Wearing a seat belt greatly reduces the chances of
serious or fatal injury.
- You must - even on short journeys - wear your seat belt at all
times. Most accidents occur in urban areas, and within a short
distance of the driver's home
- By law, the driver and all passengers in cars and taxis,
whether children or adults, must wear seat belts where they are
- Seat belts are not a restriction on your freedom – they are a
proven way of making motoring safer.
For more information on Child Car seats click here ( opens in a
But it's not just about wearing a seatbelt. Our actions inside a
car can have a devastating effect on what goes on outside.
It is against the law to use a hand held mobile phone or similar
device while driving except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine
emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop. Using a mobile
phone hands free facility is shown to be just as distracting. So it
is only safe to use a mobile phone in a car when parked in a safe
place with the handbrake on and the engine turned off. For more
information on Mobiles and Driving click here (
opens in a new window)
Safe driving requires concentration. Concentration is defined as
the application of both mental and physical endeavours to the
exclusion of everything else. So you cannot concentrate on your
driving if you are:-
- Playing loud music (this can mask other sounds)
- Trying to read a map
- Tuning a radio
- Inserting a CD
- Selecting a track on an MP3 player or similar
- Eating or drinking
- Arguing with passengers or other road users
- Programming a sat nav device
- Using a PC or other multimedia device
- A well maintained car is less likely to break down,so have your
car regularly maintained by a reputable garage.
- Carry useful items such as, jump leads, tow rope, fire
extinguisher, car jack, warning triangle and life hammer.
- In winter, always ensure that the car's battery is in good
condition and fully charged, and that the windscreen washer
reservoir is kept full. Use an additive to reduce the risk of
freezing. Keep an ice scraper and de-icer spray handy in winter and
a moisture displacing spray, E.g., WD40. Damp electrics are a
frequent cause of winter breakdowns. Do not carry de-icer in the
car as they can explode in a car fire.
- Plan your route if the journey is unfamiliar and, if possible,
keep to well lit main roads. Carry an up to date road atlas or use
a route finder to back up a sat nav if you have one.
- Where possible, tell someone your route and what time you
expect to arrive.
- Carry additional items in your car for yourself and your child,
such as essential foods, protective clothing, sensible shoes,
blanket, torch and money.
- Carry a mobile phone. If you breakdown, this will help you to
contact your motoring organisation or garage more easily and
accelerate the arrival of help.
- Always put a pushchair in the car when small children are on
board, even when you do not plan to use it. If you breakdown and
need to walk to get help, it will be easier and less stressful for
you and your child to use a pushchair rather than having to carry
- Never leave your child unattended in a car.
- Never leave matches in your car.
- Make sure that children's fingers can't reach electric windows,
sunroofs or cigar lighters.
- Check that other passengers and heavy loads are securely
restrained. Nothing should be placed on the back shelf because in
a collision it could be thrown around and injure
- If carrying animals ensure they are behind a guard or are
wearing a harness specially designed to restrain them in a
Bedford Borough Council Road Safety