Here’s what to do to prevent traffic accidents

Every day, on the roads of France, there are sadly more than 10 dead and at least 200 injured. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among 15/24-year-olds. Often, they can be avoided by remaining vigilant.

✚ Beware of fatigue:
postpone your departure if you are tired, it is important to leave rested. On long journeys, even if you feel fit, consider taking breaks every two hours. Take a 20-minute nap at the first signs of drowsiness (itchy eyes, yawning, heavy eyelids…). Avoid driving between 2 and 5 a.m.

✚ Gently on alcohol: the alcohol limit allowed is 0.5 grams per litre of blood. The maximum alcohol level is reached 1⁄2 hours after absorption on an empty stomach and 1 hour after absorption during a meal. For probationary licences (young drivers and after a cancelled licence), this rate is 0.2 grams of alcohol in the blood (i.e. zero glasses of alcohol, because from the first one, this threshold can be exceeded). Of course, the consumption of narcotics is prohibited.

✚ No phone: nearly one in ten accidents is related to the use of a mobile phone while driving. Writing SMS while driving multiplies the risk of an accident by 23. Since 31 March 2003, a decree has sanctioned the use of a mobile phone held in hand (fine of 135 euros and withdrawal of 3 points). The use of the headsets or the hands-free kit is tolerated but verbalizable if, in the event of an accident, its use is likely to be the cause.

✚ Make sure of the level of risk of your medications: all you have to do is look at the pictograms (yellow, orange, red) and the indication of the risk level (1, 2 or 3) on their outer packaging. Indeed, many treatments can call into question the ability to drive. Taking your car may even be formally discouraged if your tablets are affected by level 3 (red), the pharmacodynamic effects of this type of medication making driving dangerous. If in doubt, read the package leaflet carefully and/or ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

✚ Respect the speed limit and the safety distance: on the road, leave at least 2 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you. On highways, maintain a distance of at least two white lines from the emergency stop strip. The higher the speed, the more violent the impact in the event of an accident and the more serious the consequences. Any frontal impact above 80 km/hour almost inevitably leads to death or irreversible sequelae for any passenger, even if belted. Be careful.