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Driving Tips and Advice

Family expert, broadcaster and agony aunt Denise Robertson has put together the following tips and advice to help drivers of all ages stay safe on the roads:

1. Refresher Lessons
Most driving schools offer refresher lessons which are a fantastic way for every motorist to ensure that they are continuing to drive safely. These refresher hours become increasingly important as we get older, as when some drivers passed their test many years ago, the roads were a very different place.

2. Regular Medical Checks
Regular medical checks should also be taken seriously as some of us may be continuing to drive, having not had a health check for many years. When drivers have to fill out a medical questionnaire at 70 years old in order to renew their driving license, they may not have had a recent medical examination, putting themselves and other motorists at serious risk. For example there are around one million people in the UK, of all ages who probably have diabetes but don't know it╣, and are continuing to drive. Long term effects can include eyesight deterioration and the loss of normal sensation in your feet - left undetected this poses a serious danger to anyone on the roads.

3. Eye Tests
Eye tests are often forgotten about, but everybody needs to have good vision in order to drive safely. Somebody aged 20 may for example have worse vision than a 60 year old and not know it. By visiting an optician for regular eye checks, motorists could potentially save lives.

4. Talk Now
Our research clearly shows that families do worry about their relatives on the roads as they get older and that any discussion on the subject is awkward. However, driving safety should be regularly discussed in the family from an early age, avoiding an uncomfortable confrontation later on in life.

5. Down-size Your Vehicle
As drivers do start to mature, they may want to think about down-sizing their vehicle. Driving a car which is big and cumbersome can feel unmanageable. By getting behind the wheel of a smaller, less intimidating vehicle, drivers may feel more confident in their skills.

6. Money Matters
If a motorist only uses their car once or twice a week to visit the local shops, this may not make good financial sense. By taking the bus or even a taxi to make these simple trips, drivers could save money on tax, insurance, petrol, MOTs and wear and tear to the vehicle, which might help any older motorists who are relying on a smaller income. 

7. Highway Code
By reading the revised versions of the Highway Code, drivers can refresh their knowledge of the roads ensuring that they are up to date with any new rules, regulations or signage changes. This is a very important step towards keeping safe on the roads.

8. Don't Be Afraid
If at anytime a driver feels concerned about their driving in any way, they should seek help and advice immediately. From time to time everybody needs a little guidance so don't be afraid to ask for help from family, friends or professionals, it's the sensible thing to do and could help to save lives.

9. Bad Weather
Adverse weather can affect driving conditions, why not wait until the weather has improved before making your journey.

10. Check Your Car
Regularly checking your car for oil, tyre pressure, windscreen chips, washer fluid and general maintenance checks is an essential step in ensuring road safety. If a vehicle is left unchecked by the driver for months at a time it may put the driver, passengers and other motorists at serious risk.


Notes to editors
╣ National Public Health Service For Wales

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