Skip to Content

UK Drink Drive Limit

In 2012 there were over 1,100 people were seriously injured when a driver was over the prescribed UK drink drive limit. More sadly 280 people were killed in drink drive road traffic accidents. Drink driving has decreased greatly over the last 30 years. This is mainly down to education – however, there is still room for improvement.

UK Drink Drive Limit:

Drink Drive Limit in the UK is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. This is know as the BAC (Blood Alcohol Level). An alternative measurement is 107 milligrammes per 100millilitres of urine.

In Scotland the drink drive limit is lower, at just 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. This lower Scottish limit came into effect on 4th December 2014 as an attempt to lower the accident rate of alcohol related drink drive road traffic collisions.

How To Stay Safe – And Under The Limit:

The simple answer is not drink at all when driving. However, the current limit in both England and Scotland allows you to consume a level of alcohol. Your BAC (Blood Alcohol Level) will be determined by a number of elements including:

  1. Your body weight
  2. If you are a male or female. Men tend to process alcohol more quickly
  3. Your metabolic rate – the faster your metabolic rate will usually mean you process alcohol quicker
  4. Your current stress levels. If you are stressed it may take longer for you to process alcohol
  5. If you have recently eaten. Drinking on an empty stomach will have a more dramatic effect than drinking after or with a meal
  6. Your age. Younger drivers tend to process alcohol alcohol slightly slower than older drivers

A large man who has had a meal would be able to drink more, and possibly still be under than drink drive limit than a smaller woman drinking the same amount. It is hard to accurately access how much you have had, and if you are under the drink drive limit. So to avoid the risk take these following steps if you are driving to a social event or party:

  1. Tell people before the event that you are driving
  2. Ensure you will be able to access alcohol free drinks
  3. Make a promise to yourself not to drink, or if you do limit yourself to very little
  4. Remind those who are drinking, that you want to remain safe! They will certainly rely on you if you are giving them a lift after

Below is a calculator that can help you see what you could possibly drink and be above/below the drink drive limit. This is only an estimate and certainly should not be taken as an accurate measure.


Driving in Fog Tips

Driving in fog is a major hazard due to the fact that you can’t see where you are going as well, making your planning and observation very hard if not impossible.

Remember the basics in fog: Use your lights. Use your windscreen wipers. Use de-misters. Use common sense! It’s easy really!

General Driver Errors in Fog

In fog most drivers slow down, become more cautious and generally adapt to the conditions. However, it is easy to fall into the trap of making potentially costly mistakes:

  • Following the lights in front – Many drivers feel the need to follow the car lights in front, somehow thinking that if they lose sight of them they will lose their way! Although this sounds ridiculous you will be amazed how many do this, whether it is on a conscious or subconscious level.

To overcome this, fully understand that your own judgement will be impaired in the fog and that keeping a good distance is the safer option.

  • Failing to judge speed – When waiting at a junction it can be easy to misjudge the speed of an approaching vehicle and pull out when normally you would not. Fog can distort your sense of speed and distance. Failing to judge speed can also be a cause of road rage for some.

To avoid this take an extra second or two to assess the speed of any approaching vehicles. It may be worth letting the vehicle pass, to fully make sure you are safe.

  • Failing to notice your own speed – Over time drivers can become used to driving in fog, and as they do their speed increases, which is the last thing you want to do!

To overcome this take a quick glance at your speedo every now and then and be prepared to adjust your speed.

  • Failing to notice other road users – Although most drivers light up in the fog some do not. Also some cyclists and even pedestrians take risks by not making themselves visible.

To ensure that you do not slip up here it is important to be aware of any kind of movement in the fog; often drivers report seeing something but are not sure what before hitting a pedestrian, cyclist or an unlit car. With this in mind it is important to look for anything moving in the fog and be prepared to react to it. Be extra careful when driving along a stretch of road where the path suddenly stops, as often people will have to use the roadside to walk. Exercise extreme caution when driving on motorways in fog, and especially if you suffer a motorway breakdown.

Remember that fog can be patchy so should you enter a foggy patch whilst driving, check your mirror and slow down. If needed use your rear fog lights, and if your vehicle is equipped with them, use the front fog lights. Once you are out of fog don’t forget to switch them off. The Highway Code states that you should only use fog lights if visibility is less than 100 metres.

Should you need to park in the fog, ensure you park off the road as other drivers and road users may fail to see you. During our advanced driving course, we provide useful tips for not only driving in fog, but all sorts of adverse weather conditions.

Learn driving tips in snow

Skid Control Tips

A skid develops when the tyres of a vehicle have been pushed beyond their level of grip on a given surface and they lose traction. Most people describe a skid as a total loss of steering control combined with a vague, light feel to the steering wheel this is know as a front wheel skid. Driving in rain, ice and snow increase the chances of a skid occurring.

Sometimes however, a skid can manifest itself in the form of a rear wheel skid, which tends to occur more in rear wheel drive cars. This is when the rear wheels lose traction. In this situation the driver can often feel the back of the car come around on itself!

A skid pan training session, combined with an on-road advanced driving course can help you become a safer driver, by actually recreating a skid in a safe environment. Our fleet driving courses aimed at company car drivers covers skid control in theory, where our expert instructors will help explain how to correct all types of skids – but most importantly they will teach you to drive in a way that avoid skids in the first place!

Although this advice will give you a basic understanding of skids, there is no way of telling how you may react in a real emergency situation without real life experience.

A skid pan is normally a disused piece of land (tarmac or concrete) which is constantly covered in a thin layer of water to enable skid training to take place. The cars used normally have slick tyres to easily invoke a skid – allowing participants to lean how to detect and deal with a skid in a safe and controlled environment.

This video from Mercedes AMG Driving Academy explain oversteer and understeer. 


What is a Front Wheel Skid? – Understeer

A front wheel skid is when the front wheels of a vehicle lose traction. Cars which are powered by the front wheels (front wheel drive) tend to suffer from this problem more than cars with rear wheel drive. This is mainly due to the fact that the front wheels are driving the car and so demand more of the tyres grip than the rear tyres.

Front wheel skids usually occur under heavy breaking, where the front wheels lock-up or when trying to go around a corner too quickly for the road conditions. A front wheel skid is also known as under-steer, as the car will carry on in a straight direction, regardless of how much steering input you apply.


What is a Rear Wheel Skid? – Oversteer

A rear wheel skid occurs when the rear wheels lose traction. This tends to happen either under heavy braking, especially if there is a fault with the rear brakes (which applies to cars with front or rear wheel drive), or more commonly when going around a corner too quickly! In this respect, rear wheel cars tend to suffer from rear wheel skids (also known as over-steer) more than front wheel drive cars, as the rear wheels propel the car, and so put extra demands on the tyres. When a car over-steers, it will feel like it is trying to spin itself around.

However, unlike under-steer, you still have the ability to control the front wheels. Effective control of the front wheels in this situation can quickly remedy over-steer, but this takes practice.


How to Resolve a Skid.

Front Wheel Skid If you encounter under-steer, you should try and keep the wheels in the direction of the skid (so they don’t bite when they gain traction again!) and remove feet from pedals, engine braking will help you gain control. Try and remain calm and anticipate getting the car on course once you have steering control back.

Rear Wheel Skid If you encounter over-steer, you need to steer into the skid. For example, if you are going around an island or roundabout, and the cars rear slides out to the left, you need to carefully steer left (towards the skid) to counteract the effect. You must also remember to remove feet from the pedals, to allow engine braking to take effect. As with dealing with a front wheel skid, smoothness, staying calm and early detection are essential.

Our advanced driving courses are designed to help people before more safer, defensive drivers. Whilst we don’t cover actual live skid training, we do cover the essential theory – and maybe most important of all, to drive in a way that reduces the chances of a skid happening in the first place.

Driving in Snow Tips

It does not snow much in the UK. However, when it does it does tend to cause a lot of trouble! Usual advice is to stay in and keep warm in front of your fire or stove – hardly practical advice when you need to leave the home! Should you need to venture out on the roads you should take the following advice…

Driving in snow will greatly change how you and your car behave should a serious situation arise. It is important to be fully aware of your limits; this includes both your own and your car – not forgetting those of other road users!

You may have a high performance car, you may have the latest stability control system, but in snow the cornering ability of your car, along with any technology, will become almost irrelevant, due to the sheer lack of grip even cars equipped with ABS are unlikely stop a straight-line skid due to the lack of grip available. With this in mind it’s worth staying focused on your driving environment. Skidding is the greatest associated with driving in snow.

Avoid making any sharp movements with the steering wheel. It’s also worth avoiding harsh acceleration, sudden braking and travelling at high speeds.

This video from Michelin provides some good advice on winter driving

General driving

Try to keep in as high a gear as possible to avoid wheel spin. Although you should always concentrate whilst driving (!) ensure you double your concentration in the snow. You may have covered many thousands of miles in everyday road conditions, but most people will drive fewer miles in snow than they do when learning to drive, making the majority of the public very inexperienced snow drivers!

When venturing out in the snow ensure you have a fully charged mobile phone, ideally a hot drink in a flask, and also a spade should you get stuck in snow.

The advice above is designed to keep you safe, but we are realists – We know in all probability very few people will actually bother taking a spade or having a hot drink in a flask – will you be one of them?

If you are going to take one thing from these snow tips, it should be – be prepared for the unexpected, and do as much as you can to be prepared. Learn about driving tips in fog.