Police warning about Lanyards and more advice on driving rules
Nannies must be very aware of driving and children in the car. There are some super tips here. Along with this I have always advised nannies with young children to have a buggy, breakdown cover, first aid kit, blanket, umbrella and drink in the back. If you break down especially on a motorway you need the children to be safe and secure. This was a case last weekend I saw a lady with her young child about 2 years behind the barrier, He was free and i realised how dangerous this could be. Thank you Emma Hammett for this great information.
The lanyard – the identity pass worn around the neck at work – could cost you your life if you are involved in a car accident whilst wearing it.
The recent police warning came after the drivers in a spate of car accidents sustained additional serious injuries because they were wearing their lanyards.
One driver was involved in a crash which activated the safety airbag, the implosion of the bag forced the lanyard and identity pass into the driver’s chest. This caused a collapsed lung which needed hospital treatment. However, police suspect the driver would have walked away from this crash, probably without injury, had they simply removed their lanyard and pass before getting into the driver’s seat.
In a second accident, a driver wore a lanyard with sets of keys attached – used for opening medicine cabinets. When he was involved in a collision, that caused the airbag to be deployed, these keys were forced into the driver’s bowel and perforated it. The result? The driver was hospitalised for six weeks and still hasn’t returned to work after six months.
Therefore, police are strongly advising drivers to remove their lanyards before driving, to reduce the risk of further injury in the event of a collision. Alternatively opt for breakaway lanyards which instantly release if they get stuck or caught.
Although police stress this type of incident is unusual, they hope that by raising awareness it will prevent more drivers from serious injury.
Pens in your shirt pocket
The lanyard is not the only a hazard when driving. Carrying a pen or objects in a top pocket, has led to a fatality in at least one case, where the driver’s heart was pierced with a pen in an otherwise minor accident.
Holding a set of keys in your hand – or any sharp objects – can be forced into the body or face in the event of a collision. (I received 7 stitches in my chin as a child, from just such an accident).
Similarly, children sucking on a lolly whilst travelling in a car could result in injury from the lolly stick. I have administered to casualties in A&E when such an accident has led to the lolly going through the back of their soft palate and causing very serious injury (Similar injuries can occur when children are running or on scooters with lollies in their mouths).
We all know that calling or texting on the phone while driving is illegal. In fact, the Prime Minster vowed to make drivers using their mobiles as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving. Research shows using a hand-held or even hands-free mobile phone while driving presents significant distraction: it has been estimated for every six seconds of drive time, a driver who is sending or receiving a text message takes their eyes off the road for a staggering 4.6 of those seconds.
Little wonder then that statistics show drivers using their mobile phones being four times more likely to be involved in a crash. The most recent figures available showed 32 cases where mobile phones were a factor in a fatal crash on UK roads.
If you are caught using a hand held phone when driving you could end up with six penalty points and a £200 fine. You could also be banned from driving or get a maximum fine of £1,000.
If you only passed your driving test in the last two years, you could lose your license.
If you are caught by the police driving while on the phone for a second time, you stand to be disqualified from driving and could be fined £1,000.
Many people are not aware it is also illegal to check your phone or read texts and emails when you are stopped in traffic or at traffic lights – as your engine is still running. This also applies to drivers of start-stop cars where the engine cuts out to save fuel.
Satellite navigation systems
Satellite navigation systems or sat navs are invaluable for giving specific directions to a destination and have undoubtedly reduced the number of in car arguments about map reading. However, when poorly used, the sat nav can be a distraction in its own right. Understanding how to operate your sat nav before you get into the car can reduce uncertainly when driving.
Make sure your sat nav is positioned safely out of the way of airbags and not blocking the driver’s vision. It also needs to be placed where it can’t hurt someone in the event of a collision.
It needs to be in your sightline and not by the hand brake, for example, where you need to keep glancing down at it. When programming your sat nav, you should always pull over and stop before doing so.
It is also illegal to use your phone as a sat nav if it is not fixed on your windscreen or dashboard. The phone must be clearly visible without you needing to hold it. Research shows using the mobile removes your full attention from the road and traffic – your eyes and mind are off the road and your hands are off the steering wheel.
Smoking while driving
Since October 2015, it’s illegal to smoke in your car if any of your passengers are under the age of 18. As the driver you are also responsible for any passengers who are smoking if there is someone under the age of 18 in the car at the time. Both smoker and driver can be fined £50.