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Tips for staying safe on the roads

It's really important to stay safe while driving

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life

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There are lots of things to keep in mind when it comes to driving on the roads as well as being a car owner. Here are some tips for being a safer driver.

Driving and your mobile phone

We all know you need to keep your mobile with you in case of an emergency on the road but aside from the fact that it’s illegal to use your phone while driving, your mobile phone makes you four times more likely to crash. And when you consider that driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions, phone use and driving is an issue that we all need to think differently about. Try putting your phone into airplane mode while you’re driving, that way you won’t be distracted by notifications mid-journey.

Driving while tired

It is estimated that driver fatigue is a contributory factor in as many as 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland every year.  Tiredness-related collisions are 3 times more likely to be fatal or result in a serious injury because of the high impact speed and lack of avoiding action.

The RSA have the following advice for tired drivers:

  • Stop, park in a safe place and take a nap for 15 minutes (set your mobile phone alarm)
  • To really make the most of the break, take a caffeine drink before the nap (150mg of caffeine e.g. 2 cups of coffee)
  • After the nap, the caffeine should have started to take effect
  • Then get some fresh air and stretch your legs for a few minutes
  • By following all of the above advice you should be able to drive for another hour or so

Keep your car in good condition

Being a good driver is very important, but it's just as important for yourself and other road users to maintain and look after your vehicle.

  • Before you drive off, check that you have at least a quarter of petrol in your tank, enough water and enough oil
  • Regularly inspect your car for damage to the electrics, the wipers and the lights
  • Check the air pressure of your tyres regularly
  • Learn to change a tyre so that you’re never left stranded with a flat wheel
  • Speed is the main cause of road accidents in Ireland as stopping time sharply decreases with speed
  • Make sure your NCT is up to date so you know your car is road worthy
  • If you have an accident or are stuck in an isolated or unsafe place, call the Gardaí for help
  • Carry an emergency cold weather kit with you - if there is heavy snow or ice, you may end up stranded somewhere and your kit could end up being very useful indeed
  • Make sure you are fully insured and that your tax is up to date

Drinking and driving

Think your driving isn't impaired after just one or two drinks. Have a watch of Newstalk, presenter, Chris Donoghue driving after alcohol.


  • If you are driving with a child under the age of three, he/she must be placed in a child’s car seat or booster seat
  • Children over the age of three must wear seat belts
  • Carry an emergency cold weather kit with you - if there is heavy snow or ice, you may end up stranded somewhere and your kit could end up being very useful indeed

Find out more about personal safety on this article.

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Published Jan­u­ary 4th2013
Last updated June 19th2018
Tags safety safe driving driving
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