Driving while unfit due to drugs is against the law. This applies to prescribed medication or over-the-counter products as well as illegal substances. In fact, driving while unfit through drugs is just as dangerous as drink driving. The effects of some drugs can last for some time after use.
Ways in which drugs can affect driving include:
slower reaction times, poor concentration, sleepiness/fatigue, confused thinking, distorted perception and over confidence.
While linking drug use to accidents is difficult, figures suggest that 51 people died in 2006 where drugs were believed to be a contributory factor.
More on Drug Driving
Always wear your seat belt and make sure that any passengers you are carrying are wearing theirs.
Keep your car in good condition and try not to let it run out of fuel.
When filling up with fuel and paying for it, lock your doors and take your keys with you.
Plan your journey, particularly if you are driving to an area you don't know. You don't want to be stopping to ask a stranger the way. Tell someone what time you expect to arrive at your destination and keep them updated if you're delayed.
Keep doors locked when driving and keep bags, phones and other valuables out of sight, preferably in a locked boot.
If you have the window open, only wind it down a little. Don't wind it down far enough to allow someone to reach in while you are stationary.
Try to park in well-lit or busy areas or a secure car park, particularly at night.
If you regularly drive alone, consider joining a breakdown recovery service.
If you break down on the motorway park on the hard shoulder, switch on your vehicle's hazard warning lights and get out by the passenger door. Follow the arrows on the roadside marker posts to the nearest phone. Wait outside your vehicle as far as possible from the carriageway unless you feel threatened, in which case get into the passenger seat and lock the doors.
Do not give a lift to or accept a lift from someone you do not know, or do not know very well.
Do not drive if you have been drinking or taking drugs, and do not accept a lift from someone who has.
If you find yourself the victim of road rage, don't stop, don't get out of your car and don't wind down your windows. As soon as the situation allows, drive into a busy area where you can get help or call the police.
If someone tries to flag you down and you are suspicious of their motives, drive on until you come to a petrol station, or somewhere busy, and call the police.
If you think you are being followed, going round a roundabout twice will confirm if this is so. Do not be tempted to go faster and outrun your pursuer. Keep driving, stick to main roads and try to find a public place, such as a supermarket or petrol station, where you can get help.
Car-jacking is very rare in the borough, but if it happens, especially when driving in other parts of the country you should be aware that car-jackers are known to deliberately bump into people's cars with the intention of getting the driver out of the vehicle so they can steal it. If someone bumps into your car and you do not think it is a genuine accident, stay in your car. Wind down the window a little to talk to them and, if you are suspicious, drive on to the nearest police station.
Make sure you lock your vehicle properly before leaving it. Don't forget to lock the sunroof and ensure all windows are closed and the boot is locked.
Never leave anything valuable, or anything that might contain something valuable, on display. This includes jackets and loose change left in an ashtrays. Even if you don't have anything stolen, the cost of replacing broken windows or locks can very expensive.
Any items that you are not able to remove from your vehicle should be locked in the boot.
Where possible, remove the stereo or its fascia and take it with you.
Fold in wing mirrors and put down your vehicle's aerial to prevent vandalism.
When parking overnight or for a long period try to leave your vehicle where it is within range of CCTV cameras.
Use secure, well-supervised car parks that have attendants, good lighting and security cameras.
Check your surroundings before parking to use a cash machine and if it is dark park somewhere that is well-lit.
Think: Road Safety
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership