Every 24 seconds someone is killed on a road. More than 1.3 million people die on the world's roads every year. Road crashes are the leading cause of death for young people aged 5-29. That is why the Brake Charity work hard all year round to make road safety a priority, especially during Road Safety Week which is the UK's biggest road safety event, held annually.
The theme for Road Safety Week 2020 is:
No Need to Speed
In a crash, 1mph can be the difference between life and death, but it's no secret that people still regularly break speed limits or travel too fast for the conditions of the road. With someone injured on a UK road every four minutes, and vehicle speed playing a part in every crash, it's time to come together to say that there is No Need to Speed. Whether you're walking to school, riding along a country road or driving to work, the speed of traffic matters to your safety.
The higher the speed, the longer the stopping distance, the harder the crash and the greater the risk of death or injury.
- Slow down and stick to the speed limit
- If conditions are bad (fog, heavy rain, ice) don't be afraid to do less than the speed limit
- Don't let other road users bully you into increasing your speed
- Plan your journey with enough time to spare so you're not running late and feeling like you need to drive faster
Other ways you can stay safe on the road
- Buckle up - Wearing your seat belt during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle; being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.
- Get plenty of sleep before long drives - Fatigue reduces a driver's reaction time, alertness, and concentration. It also weakens ability to assess risks and so might lead to poor decision-making while on the road. If you fall asleep at the wheel and crash, your injuries are likely to be more severe.
- Never use your phone while driving - Using a mobile phone, whether hand-held or hands-free, is distracting and dangerous to any driver. You may miss important road signs, not notice someone has stopped in front of you, not be able to keep an eye on your speed. it makes you four times more likely to crash.
- Don't drink and drive - Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous for yourself and other road users. It dramatically slows down your reaction time, reduces your ability to judge speed and distance, increases your tendency to take risks and dramatically changes your coordination. All of these significantly increase your chances of having a Road Traffic Collision.
- Don't overload your vehicle - Overloading your vehicle will increase stopping distance quite dramatically. It can cause the tyres to overheat and wear rapidly which increases the chance of premature, dangerous and expensive failure or blow-outs. The driver's control and operating space in the vehicle are decreased, escalating the chances of an accident.
Road Safety Week runs from 16th - 22nd of November but it's important to take road safety seriously all year round.