October 7th 2012 Greg went out with friends after a long day at work. Greg was sat in the front passenger seat when his friend crashed the car at high speed. Greg was left with life changing injuries. Greg wants to tell his story to anyone who is embarking on their driving career or who will be travelling with mates who have recently learnt to drive. Please watch Greg's story.
"I was drinking...but so was the driver. He was two and a half times over the drink driving limit."
Greg in his own words
Greg explains why he shares his story at Learn2Live.
Driving too fast for the conditions is a major cause of crashes. Excessive speed contributes to 12% of all injury-causing crashes, 18% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 28% of all fatal crashes.
Around 1,000 people are killed each year on Britain’s roads because drivers and riders travel too fast.
The vast majority (80%) of car user deaths occur on rural roads, as do two-thirds of serious injuries. The nature of rural roads: narrow, bendy but with high speeds, is a likely cause for the severity of crashes. Speed is acknowledged as one of the biggest contributing factors to these crashes. The faster you go the bigger the mess.
At 30mph vehicles are travelling at 13.4m (about three car lengths) each second. One short glance away and the driver may fail to see the telltale movement of a child behind a parked car. Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30mph and 35 mph is an extra 6.4m, more than two car lengths.
At 35mph a driver is twice as likely to kill someone as they are at 30mph.
- Hit by a car at 30 mph, two out of 10 pedestrians will be killed.
- Hit by a car at 35 mph, five out of 10 pedestrians will be killed.
- Hit by a car at 40 mph, nine out of 10 pedestrians will be killed.
Drivers who exceed speed limits are not only more likely to be involved in crashes, but are also more likely to commit other road traffic offences such as close following, running red lights, and drink-driving.
Learner drivers have few accidents because they are always under supervision. But once they have passed their test - and can drive unsupervised - their chances of crashing increase dramatically. Young drivers are much more likely to crash than experienced drivers.
1 in 5 drivers crash within their first year of driving.
Alcohol is a factor in one in five road deaths. Drink driving traffic collisions are still a leading cause of alcohol related deaths among young men aged 16-24 and are the cause of approximately 460 deaths, and a further 1,760 serious and 12,260 minor casualties each year.
How your body reacts to alcohol can depend on many things; your weight, your gender, your metabolism, your current stress levels, even whether you’ve eaten recently.
There is no foolproof way of drinking and staying under the limit. How much alcohol will push you over varies from person to person.
How does alcohol affect driving skills?
- slows your brain function and reaction times by 10 to 30%
- causes blurring and loss of vital peripheral vision and a 25% reduction in the ability to judge distance and speed
- makes you over-confident and reduces the perception of risk
- for young people the accident risk increases after one drink; after two it doubles and after five it can have increased tenfold
- alcohol has exactly the same effect whether neat or with a mixer
- measures are usually bigger when you pour your drinks at home
The morning after
How much have you drunk, when did you stop drinking, and when do you plan to drive? These are crucial questions to answer if you want to remain safe and legal to drive – and avoid a drink drive conviction or being responsible for the injury or death of another road user. Alcohol stays in your system longer than you think. If in doubt, don’t drive. Even if all of the alcohol has left your system it can still be dangerous to drive with a hangover. Tiredness and feeling unwell can also affect your concentration and reaction times.
What’s the punishment for drink driving?
Anyone caught drink driving will be banned from the road for at least 12 months, and fined up to £5,000. Refusing to provide a breath test will also result in a minimum 12 month ban and a fine.
You can also be sent to prison for up to six months. It stays on your licence for eleven years, but stays on your conscience for ever.
Fancy a £150 fine and a long walk home? The Police have the power to seize your vehicle if, after receiving a warning, you drive your car or motorcycle carelessly or without reasonable consideration for other road users and in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance. An example of this might be performing screeching handbrake turns or ‘doughnuts’.
Your vehicle can also be seized if you drive without permission on common land, moorland or land not forming part of a road and in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance. This includes any part of a road which is a footpath or bridleway.
The warning given is valid for 12 months and applies to the person and the vehicle. If you are seen driving in this way again your vehicle can be seized without any further warning being given. This could mean that in addition to the recovery charge of at least £150, your insurance may increase and you would have to arrange for alternative transport for yourself and anyone else in your car from the place where the Police stopped you.
Remember it is your licence and your vehicle. It might be good fun for your friends to turn your music up and encourage you to drive faster or irresponsibly, but ultimately you are responsible. Apart from being anti social and potentially dangerous it is your licence at risk, not theirs!
Anti social driving can include:
- excessive noise and loud music
- road rage
You need to tell your insurance company about any modifications that you make to your car. A modification is anything that is added or changed from what was fitted as factory standard.
Common modifications include: exhausts and end cans, wide wheels, body kits, spoilers, racing seats and harnesses, and engine modifications, among others.
Not telling your insurers could invalidate your insurance and, while your car may look good, if you drive in an anti social way it makes it easier for the Police to identify your car.