Advice for drivers
During the winter months it is important to check your vehicle is well maintained and serviced. Further information on getting ready for winter can be found here on the Scottish Government website and the Transport Scotland website.
It’s up to you as the driver of the vehicle to stay safe on the road and be responsible for the safety of any passengers you are carrying. Make sure your car is in a good, safe condition and you know how to anticipate other road users’ actions.
As the driver of your vehicle, it is your responsibility to ensure that you and your car are fit for the road.
- Make sure you are fit to drive before getting behind the wheel.
- Drink only non-alcoholic drinks.
- If you are taking prescription drugs, check with your doctor to find out if it is safe for you to drive.
- Have your eyesight checked regularly.
- Take plenty of rests on long drives.
- Wear your seatbelt.
Do not drive if:
- You feel tired or unwell.
- You have been drinking alcohol.
- You are taking drugs or medicines that can make you drowsy.
The law requires that a driver must keep their vehicle in a good and safe condition.
Check your tyre pressures
Check the tread depth (at least 1.6mm)
Keep all lights clean.
Check that they are working.
Remember to turn off rear fog lights when not required.
Be careful not to dazzle other road users.
Windscreens and wipers
Keep your windscreen clean and clear.
Remember to keep your washers topped-up.
Do not put stickers on the windows.
As a driver of a vehicle you should make sure that your passengers are safe.
- Front seat passengers must wear a seatbelt.
- Back seat passengers must wear a seatbelt (if fitted).
- The law requires that drivers must make sure that children under 14 years of age are belted in.
- Younger children should be placed in an appropriate child car seat.
- Passengers should always enter and exit the car on the pavement side of the vehicle.
According to legislation passed in September 2006, the following laws apply (with very few exceptions):
- Children under three must be in an appropriate child restraint in the front and back. If there are no seatbelts in the vehicle to which a restraint can be fixed, the child cannot travel in the vehicle.
- Children aged 11 and younger, or under 135cm in height (4ft 5in) must use an appropriate child restraint in the front of the vehicle. They cannot just use the seatbelt. If there is a seatbelt in the back, to which a restraint can be fixed, the child must use an appropriate restraint. If there is no seatbelt in the back, the child can travel unrestrained.
- Children aged 12 and 13, or younger children over 135cm in height must wear a seatbelt in the front and back of the vehicle, if fitted.
- Rear-facing child seats can no longer be used on seats where a front airbag is fitted.
Other road users
A good driver will take care and anticipate the actions of other road users.
- Give way to pedestrians on pedestrian crossings.
- Watch out for children dashing out.
- Older people need more time to cross the road – be patient.
- When turning at a junction give way to pedestrians who are crossing the road.
Cyclists and motorcyclists
Give cyclists and motorcyclists as much room as possible when you pass – preferably as much as you would for another vehicle.
Look out for two-wheeled vehicles at all junctions – they are not easily seen.
Don't drive or park in cycle lanes.
Horses and other animals
Remember to give them plenty of room and slow down when passing by.
Let other drivers know what you intend to do – use your indicators.
Be a defensive driver – expect the worst from other drivers.
Keep your cool – we all share the same road space!
Freight best practice
The Freight Best Practice Programme has been developed with the aim of reducing carbon emissions and improving safety. It has generated a range of free material to help road freight managers and drivers work more efficiently. Guides, case studies, software and seminars are available on topics such as bad weather driving, saving fuel, developing skills, equipment and systems, operational efficiency and performance management. For more information about the programme visit the Freight Best Practice website.