This year’s Road Safety Week will look to prevent the 470 deaths and serious injuries that happen on our roads every week through the six elements of the Brake Pledge: Slow, Sober, Secure, Silent, Sharp and Sustainable.
The initiative, which is coordinated by road safety charity Brake, will take place on 21-27 November, and will see Brake encourage drivers to show their commitment to saving lives and road safety by making and sharing Brake’s Pledge online. Non drivers can also take the pledge to make sure the driver of any car they are a passenger in sticks to the six pledge points.
Brake added that it believes that good road safety is made up of the six core strands of the Brake Pledge:
Slow: Trying to make up time when running late could be the difference between a safe journey and one that ends in a fatality. 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: That one drink a driver has before getting behind the wheel could affect their ability to make a split-second decision, a decision that might prevent them from killing either themselves or another road user. In 2013 one in 10 (11%) of drivers/motorcycle riders killed had alcohol present in their body even though they weren’t over the limit. One in seven road deaths are at the hands of someone who got behind the wheel over the limit.
Secure: Despite their huge impact on road safety, seat belts are still seen as an inconvenience by a minority of drivers, yet using a three-point belt reduces the chance of dying in a crash by 50%. 21% of car occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
Silent: That phone call a driver thinks simply cannot wait could cost them or another road user their life. Drivers who perform a complex secondary task at the wheel, like using a mobile, 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, as a skipped test may cost someone their life. Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties and cost £33m in the UK per year.
Sustainable: By minimising the amount we drive, or not driving at all, and walking, cycling or using public transport instead we are removing the potential for many crashes to happen in the first place 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 from particulate matter pollution in the UK, 5,000 of which are attributable to road transport.
Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, said: “We’ve designed this year’s theme to be action orientated. Anyone can make and share the Pledge – individuals, businesses and community organisations. It’s practical, and if every driver vowed to, slow down, never drink or take drugs when driving or use their mobiles, always wear a seat belt and make sure children are safely restrained, get their eyesight regularly tested, and minimise the amount they drive, then our roads would be safer places for everyone.”
For more information visit www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk