Recent statistics from the Department for Transport show that in 2017 there were 1,466 crashes in the United Kingdom that resulted in one or more deaths, and close to 3% were attributed to inexperience. Even more, distraction was a major contributing factor, with over 34% of incidents happening due to the driver’s failure to look properly, mobile phone use, and distractions in and outside of the car.[1]

Large displays of fireworks and bonfires are expected yet again all throughout the country to celebrate the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot, a major distraction source for young drivers in particular. Aside from the pretty explosions, they will also be faced with increased attention diversions such as other passengers in their car, heavier traffic of pedestrians on the streets than they might be used to and the potential of spooked animals bolting onto the road in front of them.

The Department for Transport estimates that if a driver travelling at 30mph looks away for 2.3 seconds only, they miss 100ft of road or the length of a Boeing 737, so any distraction could have potentially fatal consequences.[2]

Crispin Moger, CEO for Marmalade, comments: “Bonfire Night is one of those special events that brings everyone together for an evening of fun. However, the celebration also poses some added distractions which young drivers in particular might not be used to. We want to make sure drivers get to their fireworks displays safely and we’ve devised a few simple tips they can follow while on the road.”

These are top the five things to look out for when driving on Bonfire Night:

  • Fireworks and bonfires. While it is normal to feel like looking up when driving by a sparkly display, it is important to stay focused on the road. Plan your route in advance and stick to it until you get to your destination and are able to enjoy the fireworks safely.
  • Pedestrians. There will be plenty of people on the streets, walking towards the displays. Be extra vigilant when driving, especially in residential areas where children are more likely to be present.
  • Animals. Bonfire Night can be a stressful evening for pets and wild animals alike. The visual and auditory stimuli can cause animals to become disoriented and bolt, so it is crucial that you keep to the speed limit and pay attention to the road in front of you.
  • Passengers. You may be the designated driver for the evening, in a car full of excited passengers. While it is natural to partake in the conversation, make sure your primary focus is on your driving and don’t be afraid to ask those in the car to maintain an environment where you feel comfortable and focused.
  • Fireworks safety. If you’re planning on putting on a dazzling display of your own, it is key that you take the necessary measures to transport fireworks safely. Remove any flammable and explosive liquids from the car to avoid potential sparks, always store fireworks in the boot while driving and wherever possible, purchase a spark proof box to keep fireworks in for the ride.

To find out more about Marmalade go to

[1] Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2017 annual report, Department for Transport, Table RAS50001