Be a superhero role model this festive season – youth road safety tips!

Be a superhero role model this festive season – youth road safety tips!

The festive period is a time for family and good company, food, drinks, indulgence, presents and fun! Did we miss anything out? While the positive sides of xmas and new year ring true for many of us and are season to look forward too, year on year road traffic crashes peak during this period. It’s a sad reality that dampens festive spirits and in the worse cases, destroys the peace of mind of families everywhere.

For some young people, having a ‘lit’ holiday sometimes means indulging, in drinks or drugs (legal highs or illegal), this is also a reality facing youth. In many cultures where drinking is the center point of socialization, we as young people can take real meaningful steps to ensure we are safe on the road. It starts with us, it starts with being a superhero role model; not all heroes wear capes!


Check out the information below, including tips, hints and cheats on how to become a superhero role model for road safety in no time!

drink driving adisDrinking and driving

Drunk driving is a major contributory factor to road crashes and road deaths in the world. If you going to a Christmas party and plan to indulge in a drink or two and get merry, don’t drive. Stay the night or plan a safe alternative to get home such as a cab or designated driver who does not drink all night. If friends are drunk, don’t let them drive home. It’s everyone’s responsibility to look out for each other, friends don’t let friends drive drunk.

Did you know that even in the morning after you have slept you could still be drunk and over the limit? Read more about how drinking is absorbed into the body and how the body passes the alcohol with this calculator.

Read more about Drink Driving

Drink driving has widely become a socially unacceptable pheneomena, but it still happens. Check out 50 years of drink driving adverts from the UK:


drug and drivingDrug and driving

In many parts of the world, similar to drink driving, the police have a roadside test that makes it easier to detect those who are driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and can affect driving skills in a number of ways.

Cannabis users often think they are safer when they are under the influence because they drive more slowly. However, cannabis slows reaction and decision times. It can also distort perception of time and distance, and result in poorer concentration and control of the vehicle.

Cocaine leads to a sense of over-confidence and this is reflected in user’s driving style. Users typically perform higher risk, more aggressive manoeuvres at greater speeds.

Ecstasy (MDMA) is extremely dangerous to drive on because it results in distorted vision, heightened perception of sounds, altered perception and judgment of risks and an over-confident driving attitude.

During the phase whilst the effects of any illegal drugs are wearing off the user may feel fatigued, affecting concentration levels.

Driving in any of these conditions is a bad idea – not just for the driver but for their passengers and other road users.


motorcycle helmetHelmets!

Most injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes are head injuries. On a motorcycle or bike your body is totally exposed, with no metallic framework for protection and no seatbelt to hold you in your seat. In European countries, head injuries contribute to around 75% of deaths among motorcycle users.

This figure rises to 88% in some low and middle income countries. Head injuries that do not result in death may still have a long-term impact. Solutions? Check out the:Check some of the myths about the use of helmets.

Read more about helmets





In the rush to get to a Christmas party or do your Christmas shopping before the malls close, you may be tempted to speed. But police presence is greater on the roads both day and night throughout the season, and a speeding ticket and possible accidents are not likely on your holiday wish list. Speeding increases the likliness of a crash. Go one step further and pledge to #SlowDown

seatbelt cartoon kit 1

Seatbelts all round!

Seatbelts save lives: it is now known that the simple action of belting up has saved more lives than any other road safety intervention in history.
Even still, some people think that wearing a seatbelt is a waste of time or will cause them more injury in a crash... let's explore the facts!

Always buckle up. Wearing your seat belt can reduce your risk of dying in a crash by about half or more.  Also, make sure young passengers are buckled into appropriate safety seats. Front and back, no excuses! Or are there? Check out a common myths around wearing seatbelts.

Read more about Seatbelts



More tips!

Watch for emergency vehicles.
In an emergency, every second counts. When you hear a siren, be sure to pull off to the side of the road to allow the ambulance, police car or fire truck to pass. Do as the rules say in this situation and be safe.

Carry an Emergency Kit
Always be prepared.The kit should include items that would come in handy if you are stranded on the side of the road or involved in a vehicle accident.

Pull Off the Road if You Feel Tired
Please don’t try to drive when your eyes are shutting; you could kill yourself or others if you fall asleep. Have turns driving if there is another licensed person in the vehicle.  Stop regularly to take breaks.

Be extra careful!
In many parts of the world, the temperature gets colder, the nights darker and the roads icy, slippery, wet or snow covered. In these situations, only drive when absolutely necessary and if you must, be extra careful. Its a sad fact that many people drive drunk during the Christmas perid so be extra vigilant of others, of pedestrians and other road users!

Here are a few checks that you can do, to make sure your car is ready for winter:

  • Lights - see and be seen. Keep your indicators and headlamps clean and working and carry spare bulbs in the glove box   
  • Fuel - stay out the red! A serious traffic jam can easily finish off a near empty tank. Not nice at any time of the year, but potentially deadly in the snow.
  • Windscreen wipers - make sure they're in working order, your windows are clean and your washer bottle is filled with screen wash.
  • Tyres - check the condition, pressure and depth of your tyres (including the spare). Check tyre tread depth regularly to reduce the risk of aquaplaning.  The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.
  • Brakes - make sure they are working well.
  • Fluids - are topped up to the correct level, including oil, anti-freeze and water
  • Emergency kit - put one in your car just in case you get stranded. Include things such as a phone, medication, a torch, food, extra clothes and blankets

Be prepared for bad weather:

  • Plan your journey before you set off and allow yourself extra time:
  • Check weather reports. Don't make unnecessary journeys if there are severe weather warnings in place
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to get there
  • Drive carefully and take account of the weather conditions. Leave a greater distance between you and the car in front - remember, it may take up to 10 times longer to stop in some conditions
  • Winter sun - the sun can be dangerous in winter too. Be careful of dazzling rays when you are driving.


Sign up to become a road safety superhero champion!

Want to take action? Check out the Youth and Road Safety Action Kit