There are four main reasons why people are involved in or badly hurt in road traffic collisions – but the good news is that they’re all avoidable.

Distractions can be deadly. You’re four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you use a mobile phone when you’re driving. Then there’s the sat nav… audio system… your passengers.

It takes just a couple of seconds to put your seatbelt on. If you don’t bother, you double your likelihood of dying in a crash.

Speed. Keep it down and make sure it’s appropriate to your route, the road and the weather.

And remember that even a small amount of drink or drugs in your system can mess up your reaction times, judgement and coordination.

Safe vehicle

As a driver, you’re responsible for making sure your vehicle is well maintained and road worthy. But basic car safety really isn’t rocket science! Take a look at our top tips.

The depth of tread on your tyres is critical when it comes to accelerating, braking, steering and cornering – and even more so when the roads are wet.

The UK minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm. But are you among the 65 per cent of drivers who don’t check their tyre treads often enough? All you need is a 20 pence piece – and two minutes to watch this video.

Safe journey

Planning your journey and leaving plenty of time for the trip will reduce your risk of having an accident. Each season brings its own challenges for drivers – winter more than any. Check out these hints and tips from the AA.

Child car seats

Children must use a booster seat until they are 135cm tall or 12 years of age. It’s the law.

Our advice is that they should actually travel in an appropriate restraint until they’re 150cm tall. This is because adult seatbelts might not fit them properly.

There are a few different types, and some only suit certain cars, so make sure you get yours checked by a professional.

You need to get the right seat for your child’s weight and height, and check that it’s fitted correctly for every journey.

And remember that child seats are only designed for one impact. Never re-use a seat that’s been in an accident or buy one second hand, even if it looks OK.

You can find out more about child car seats from Which.

Young drivers

Your first set of wheels brings a new-found freedom, and a chance to get out and about with your friends. But a new driver is five times more likely to crash with two or more passengers in the car.

If you’re aged 17 to 24, your chances of having a road accident are, unfortunately, much higher than for older drivers. There are lots of reasons, including inexperience behind the wheel and being more ready to take risks.

West Midlands Fire Service works closely with The Honest Truth to get young drivers thinking about road safety and how they behave when they’re in the driving seat.

Older drivers

We’re living longer, driving older.

People age differently and their driving ability may be affected at different rates, depending on your general health, physical ability and all-round awareness.

If it’s worrying you, think about confiding in someone and talking it through, and consider driver training to increase your confidence.