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Stay Safe on the Road

Distracted driving is estimated to be a factor in 25% to 50% of all traffic crashes. Driving safely is not only beneficial to the driver but also to all other road users.

Follow these Driving Safety Tips for a Safer Journey:

Do not drink and drive.

Obey the speed limit.

Do not use cell phones when driving. It is illegal and extremely dangerous.

Ensure the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.

Do simple vehicle maintenance and pre-trip inspections.

Guard against distractions while driving. Set all devices, mirrors and controls prior to driving.

Ensure all vehicle occupants wear a seat belt.

Maintain a safe following distance. Obey the four-second rule.

Allow yourself to take short breaks when driving long distances.

Plan your journey well in advance.

  • If a breakdown occurs, turn hazard lights on and get the vehicle to a safe location.
  • If the vehicle breaks down on the roadway, turn hazard lights on, stay belted in the vehicle and wait for professional help.
  • Never get out of a vehicle to make a repair on a busy road. Get the vehicle to a safe place before getting out.
  • Always stop at level crossings. Never cross if the red lights are flashing, regardless of what position the boom is in.
  • Obey the road signs when approaching a level crossing. Make sure the tracks are clear IN BOTH DIRECTIONS before crossing.
  • Never queue over a level crossing.
  • Never pass another vehicle when approaching a level crossing.
  • Always wear a seat belt, even when travelling short distances.
  • Fasten the lap and shoulder belt across the hips. Do not place the shoulder belt under the arm or across the face or neck.
  • Check seat belts periodically to ensure proper functioning.


Child Passenger Safety

Securing your child properly reduces the risk of death and injury. Be responsible, buckle up your children.

Practice the following safety tips on every trip

  • Always buckle up your children, even for a short trip.
  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size.
  • Do not travel with a child on your lap.
  • Sharing a seat belt with a child is dangerous.
  • Infants or young children should never be left unattended in a car.
  • Children using seat belts should sit back against the vehicle seat with knees bending comfortably over the seat edge.

Drinking and Driving

“Nearly 9000 car and van accidents occur each year in Sri Lanka. Approximately 2200 accidents occur each year in our country caused by drunk driving”

Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your ability to drive. The only option is to avoid alcohol if you are driving.

The Effects of Alcohol on Driving

  • You are less able to judge distances and speed.
  • You may have a tendency to be overconfident and put yourself and other road users at risk.
  • You are less likely to observe traffic signs or other road users.

Possible Consequences of Driving Drunk

  • Killing someone else
  • Losing your own life
  • Imprisonment
  • Criminal records
  • Legal costs


  • If you intend to drive, the safest option is not to drink.
  • If you have too much to drink, appoint a designated driver or make use of alternate Public Transport.

Watch Out for Pedestrians


“Each year, approximately 740 pedestrian deaths occur in Sri Lanka due to road accidents”


Children and Pedestrian Safety

Parents and caregivers need to take special care and follow simple steps to ensure child road safety.

  • Teach children safe traffic behaviour and set a good example.
  • Check regularly to ensure that children remember and follow safety procedures.
  • Plan safe walking and cycling routes with children.
  • Enquire about road safety education programmes at school and reinforce what the schools are teaching.


Simple Steps can be taken to be a Safer Pedestrian


  • Wear bright coloured clothing and reflective materials.
  • Cross in a well-lit area at night.
  • Stand clear of buses or parked cars before crossing the road so drivers can see you.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Do not drink and cross the road.
  • Do not cross where a road bends or leads to a sharp curve.
  • Do not rely on pedestrian signals; look for oncoming traffic before crossing.
  • Be aware of other road users, especially at intersections.
  • Do not wear headphones or talk on your cell phone whilst crossing the road.
  • Cross at pedestrian crossings.
  • Always obey traffic signals.
  • Wait for buses or heavy motor vehicles to pass before crossing the road.

Drive Safely around Motorcycles


“In Sri Lanka, over 9400 motor bike accidents are reported each year”


Motorcycles provide almost no protection in a crash. Numerous crashes occur when other vehicles turn ahead of a motorcycle.


Safety Tips for Motorcyclists


  • Wear an approved helmet that meets current safety standards.
  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Wear a full face helmet that protects your eyes and face.
  • Be visible. Wear bright, reflective clothing.
  • Always keep the headlight on.
  • Ride in a position that promotes visibility on the road and leave enough room to move.
  • Avoid other vehicles’ blind spots.
  • Drive defensively and be watchful of other vehicles turning ahead of you.
  • Be aware of hazardous road conditions.
  • Choose the correct lane position and enter a curve slowly.
  • Know your skill limits, the environment and your motorcycle.
  • Use turn signals when changing lanes.
  • Drive at an appropriate speed for prevailing circumstances.
  • Take refresher rider courses.


Safety Tips for Drivers of Other Vehicles


  • Be considerate and aware of motorcycles, especially at intersections.
  • Maintain a safe following distance allowing sufficient space for motorcycles.
  • Use signals to turn and be alert of oncoming motorcycles.
  • Give motorcycles a full lane of travel.
  • Check your blind spots when changing lanes.
  • Turn signals are not self-cancelling on most motorcycles. Be sure you know what a motorcyclist is doing.

Drive Safely around Cyclists

“Cyclists and motorists must be considerate and share the road safely. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers.”


Safety Tips for Cyclists


  • Make use of pedal cycle lanes where these are available.
  • Keep as close as possible to the left edge of the roadway.
  • Obey the traffic signs and signals.
  • Ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Watch out for the opening of car doors in your path.
  • Be visible. Wear bright coloured clothing at daytime. At night, wear reflective clothing.
  • Fit and use effective front and rear lights when riding in hours of darkness and when visibility is limited.
  • Use hand signals when turning or changing lanes.
  • Be aware of hazardous road conditions.
  • Be aware of other road users, especially at intersections.
  • Ride in a straight line.
  • Wear a helmet that fits properly.
  • Never ride with headphones.
  • Yield to cyclists, especially at intersections.
  • Leave a distance between the motor vehicle and the cyclist of at least one metre.
  • Check your blind spots and look before opening the car door.
  • Do not drive, stop or park in a bicycle lane.