Franchisees at Driver Hire, the leading supplier of staff to the road transport & logistics industry are, once again, supporting Road Safety Week (November 21st – 27th). Organised by road safety charity, Brake, this year’s campaign encourages drivers to follow six simple road safety pledges:
· Stick to speed limits
· Stay sober
· Use seat belts
· Avoid distractions
· Take regular eye tests
· Consider other forms of transport for short journeys
“The good news is that UK roads are amongst the safest in Europe,” says Justine Turner, Driver Hire’s Road Safety co-ordinator. “With 28 fatalities per 1m population, that’s half the average figure for EU countries – the third lowest death rate, beaten only by Malta and Sweden.
“The not so good news is that, according to figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) for the year to March 2016, road fatalities in the UK actually increased by 1.9% compared to 2015. A total of 1,780 people were killed, that’s five deaths every day of the year.
“Up to 2011, there’d been a marked year-on-year reduction for well over a decade. But since 2013 there’s been a 6% increase. That’s a trend we want to reverse and the reason why we continue to be a keen and active supporter of Road Safety Week. We can all play a part in achieving this. For instance, a recent study by insurer, Aviva, revealed that 83% of drivers admitted that they switched off on routine journeys. That’s the kind of inattention that leads to accidents.”
As well as inattention, allowing yourself to be distracted is another potential danger. Whilst all of us know that it’s illegal to use a handheld mobile phone at the wheel (the rules are the same if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.), because so many of us are under time pressure, we’re all guilty at times of doing other things whilst driving. This can be something as simple as changing a CD or grabbing a sandwich or a drink.
“The six pledges are simple but excellent road safety advice,” Justine concludes. “By sticking to these rules and always treating driving as a task in itself, rather than trying to multi-task whilst at the wheel, we’ll all be doing our bit to make our roads even safer.”