Road safety is a prominent and ongoing issue, with someone being killed or seriously injured on a British road every 20 minutes. To help raise awareness, Monday 18th November signals the start of Road Safety Week, with this year’s theme being ‘Step Up For Safe Streets’.
In anticipation of this annual event, we’re going to tell you all about Road Safety Week, and offer ideas as to how you can refine your day-to-day driving and contribute to improving road safety.
What is Road Safety Awareness Week?
Founded in 1997, Road Safety Week is now the biggest road safety awareness event in the UK. It is annually coordinated by road safety charity, Brake; an organisation that works to prevent death and injury on roads, takes action to make our streets safer, and offers support to victims of road accidents.
The goal of Road Safety Week is to educate and inspire schools, businesses and communities throughout the country to actively take steps towards improving safety on the roads for the duration of the event and beyond.
This Year’s Theme
Every year, a different theme is selected for Road Safety Week to give it a specific focus. As we already mentioned, this year’s theme is safe streets, and the aim is to encourage everyone to adopt new solutions that will help us to better navigate the streets. The ‘Step Up For Safe Streets’ theme is split into two areas:
Journeys become safer when our transport network is developed to prevent human error from causing death or injury whilst on the roads. This concept of safety by design is referred to as safe systems. We already have an array of these systems available to us, such as in-car safety technology and imposed speed limits, and this year’s event will encourage us to learn more about them and celebrate the positive effect they have
Walking and cycling are great ways to keep fit and healthy. However, it’s essential that by choosing either of these methods of travel, we aren’t putting ourselves at risk – whether it be in terms of physical injury, or the inhalation of polluted air. Road Safety Awareness Week 2019 aims to encourage the prioritisation of safe spaces for walkers and cyclists, and inspire drivers to take action and try to reduce their emission levels.
How can we improve road safety?
Road safety is undoubtedly a very broad issue, so you may think that making a noticeable difference to the situation is impossible. This would be true if you were working alone, but if every one of us took just a few small actions, we could contribute to a drastic improvement in road safety as a whole.
As a driver, here are a selection of ideas about how you can improve road safety in your daily life:
Losing concentration, or feeling sleepy while driving is a huge safety hazard. If you don’t feel altogether alert, have a rest before you set off on a journey. If you’re already behind the wheel, pull over in a suitable rest area as soon as you can and take some time to recover.
Speed limits exist for a reason and you should always stick to them. By exceeding them, not only are you risking a hefty penalty if you’re caught by one of the many UK speed cameras, but more importantly, you are endangering other road users.
Put You Phone Down
Using your phone behind the wheel is against the law, and a serious offence. It is legal to use a hands-free device; however, if it causes you to be distracted while driving, it becomes a road safety issue. Take time to sure you’re fully clued up on the rules about phone use while driving.
Maintain Your Car
Keeping your vehicle in good condition means it will continue running at its best, and prevent any accidents occurring. Be sure to carry out a range of simple car checks on a regular basis, and book your car in for service when required.
Be Mindful Of The Weather
Poor weather conditions can make driving more of a challenge. Rain, ice and snow are all elements that can act as a catalyst for road accidents. It’s very important that you know how to drive safely in adverse weather in order to stay safe behind the wheel.
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