Today marks the start of Road Safety Week – the UK’s biggest road safety event, coordinated annually by Brake to raise awareness about road safety and promote steps that everyone can take to stop these needless deaths and injuries year-round.
This year the charity is asking people to Make the Pledge and do six simple things that fall into the following elements – Slow, Sober, Secure, Silent, Sharp and Sustainable.
These six topics have some shocking facts:
- Slow: Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for the conditions is recorded by police at crash scenes as a contributory factor in more than one in four (27%) fatal crashes in Great Britain.
- Sober: Having even one drink can affect your ability to drive. In 2013 one in 10 (11%) drivers/motorcycle riders killed in a crash had alcohol present in their body, even though they weren’t over the legal blood-alcohol limit. One in seven road deaths are at the hands of someone who has driven while over the limit.
- Secure: Seat belts are still seen as an inconvenience by some drivers, yet using one reduces the chance of dying in a crash by 50%. 21% of car occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
- Silent: Drivers who perform a complex secondary task, like using a mobile, while at the wheel are three times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers.
- Sharp: Booking in for a regular eye test should be at the top of any driver’s to-do list. Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties in the UK every year.
- Sustainable: By minimising the amount we drive by walking, cycling or using public transport instead, we are making our communities safer places, and doing the best we can for the environment and our individual health. Air pollution is a major killer: there are an estimated 29,000 deaths per year from particulate matter pollution in the UK, 5,000 of which are attributable to road transport.
For Road Safety Week 2016, Brake spoke to people who have been directly affected by road crashes where the drivers were speeding, drunk, not wearing a seat belt, distracted or had poor vision. Hear their heartbreaking stories here.
Make the Pledge today and make the roads a safer place for us all.