The Fatal Four

These are the most common causes of road accidents. Take the advice and stay safe on the road.

Drivers and riders who are travelling at inappropriate speeds are more likely to crash

Arrive alive and not dead on time

When driving, a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death. The faster you drive, the less time you have to stop if something unexpected happens.

If you kill someone whilst speeding, you will have to live with the long-term emotional consequences.

Speed limits are there for a reason

The facts

  • Speed is one of the main factors in fatal road incidents
  • The risk of death is approximately 4 times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph

The law

  • You must not drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road and your type of vehicle
  • The speed limit is the absolute maximum and it doesn't mean its safe to drive at this speed in all conditions

Using a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone whilst driving is a significant distraction.

Make the glove compartment the phone compartment

The facts

  • If you are using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone you will be slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.
  • You are 4 times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone.
  • Your reaction times are 2 times slower if you text and drive than if you drink drive.   This increases to 3 times if you use a handheld phone.
  • Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash. At 50 kmh a car travels 100 feet in 2.3 seconds.

The law

  • It is illegal to use a handheld mobile when driving – including using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • It is also illegal to use a handheld phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked, or need to call  the emergency services, and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.
  • If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you will get a fine.
  • Using a hands-free device (for example, for navigation) is not illegal. However, if this distracts you and affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted by the police.

Seatbelts are designed to retain people in their seats, and so prevent or reduce injuries suffered in a crash.

It doesn't matter how far the journey is… just belt up!

Seat belts and child seats are an important part of keeping you and your loved ones safe if the worst happens on the roads.

It doesn't matter how far the journey is... just belt up!

The facts

  • In a crash you are twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seat belt.
  • Drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seat belt-wearing rates, combined with the highest accident rate.
  • People are less likely to use seat belts on short or familiar journeys – putting them at serious risk of injury in a crash.

The law

  • If you are a driver or a passenger and fail to wear a seat belt in the front or the back of vehicles, you are breaking the law.
  • If you are caught without a seat belt, you will face a fine. 

Child car seats 

The safest way for children to travel in cars is in a child seat that is suitable for their weight and size. Even in a minor crash, an unrestrained child would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and others. They could be thrown from the car through one of the windows.

For more information on fitting child car seats, visit:


The Highway Code says that drivers must ‘make sure dogs and other animals are suitably restrained’ in your car. If you don’t follow the Highway Code, you could be considered to be driving without due care and attention. If you’re in an accident because you were distracted by your pet, this could be counted as dangerous driving. 

Benefits of keeping pets secured include: 

  • preventing serious injuries to your pet if you’re in a car accident. 
  • preventing serious injuries to passengers and the driver - at just 30mph an unrestrained dog weighing 20kg, would be hurled forward with a force equivalent to the weight of a small moose! 
  • •reducing the changes of an accident caused by a dog distracting the driver or getting the way.
  • •Making sure your insurance is valid - a lot of car insurance policies require you to restrain your pets properly. 

Often it is an innocent person who suffers, not the driver who is drink/drug driving

Have none for the road!

It is an offence to drive whilst unfit through alcohol or drugs

The Facts

  • It is not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit.  The way alcohol affects you depends on:-
    • Your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy)
    • The type and amount of alcohol you're drinking
    • What you have eaten recently
    • Your stress levels at the time

If you are driving, its better to have NONE for the road

  • Officers can test for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside.  Officers can also screen for other drugs (including ecstasy, acid, ketamine and heroin at the police station.  Even if you pass the roadside check, you can still be arrested if the police suspect that your driving is impaired by drugs.  

If you drive whist using drugs, you are out of your mind

The consequences

There are strict penalties if you are convicted of drink/drug driving, including:

  • a minimum 12 month driving ban
  • a criminal record
  • a hefty fine
  • up to 6 months in prison
  • an endorsement on your licence for 11 years

However, this list does not reflect the everyday consequences of being caught drink/drug driving which can include:

  • increase in car insurance costs
  • job loss
  • trouble getting in to countries like the USA
  • the shame of having a criminal record
  • loss of independence

There's always an alternative                  

Most drink drivers don't plan to break the law. Make sure you don't become another statistic; here are some ways to avoid drinking and driving:                 

  • Book a taxi. To make sure you get one, book it as early as in the evening.
  • At the start of the night agree who's driving and not drinking. Look after the designated driver. 
  • Use public transport to get home.
  • Don't get into a car driven by someone else who's been drinking.
  • Help us to take known drink drivers off the road.






MakeItSafe Aiming to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the road. 

The “Fatal Four” refers to the four leading causes of fatal accidents on the road. These factors contribute significantly to the number of serious injuries and fatalities in traffic incidents. By understanding and addressing these factors, we can work towards creating safer road environments. The Fatal Four include:

1. Speeding: Speeding is a major contributor to road accidents and fatalities. Driving at excessive speeds reduces the time available for drivers to react to unexpected situations, increases stopping distance, and makes it harder to control the vehicle. It also amplifies the force of impact in a collision, leading to more severe injuries. Adhering to speed limits and adjusting driving speed based on road conditions is essential for reducing the risk of accidents.

2. Drunk Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgment, slows reaction time, and affects coordination and concentration. This greatly increases the likelihood of accidents and injuries. It is crucial to never drive while intoxicated and to always designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation options if you have consumed alcohol or drugs.

3. Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a growing concern with the rise of smartphones and other electronic devices. Activities such as texting, talking on the phone, using GPS systems, eating, or grooming divert the driver’s attention from the road and increase the risk of accidents. It is essential to eliminate distractions and focus solely on driving to ensure a safe journey.

4. Not Wearing Seatbelts: Failure to wear seatbelts significantly increases the risk of severe injury or death in the event of an accident. Seatbelts are designed to restrain occupants during sudden stops or collisions, preventing them from being ejected from the vehicle or hitting hard surfaces inside. It is crucial for all occupants to wear seatbelts properly and consistently, regardless of the distance traveled.

Addressing the Fatal Four requires a combination of education, enforcement, and public awareness campaigns. It is essential for drivers and passengers to understand the dangers associated with these factors and to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others on the road.

By promoting safe driving behaviors, strict enforcement of traffic laws, and public education campaigns, we can make significant progress in reducing the number of accidents and fatalities caused by the Fatal Four. Remember, each individual has a role to play in creating safer roads and preventing unnecessary tragedies.


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