Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, and focuses on a specific road safety theme each year. The theme for 2020 is No Need to Speed, which encourages drivers to think about how speed increases the risk of road accidents – from minor bumps to more serious incidents.
Why is this year’s focus on speed?
Speed is the main factor in one in five fatal road accidents, and it’s estimated that 1.3 million people around the world lose their lives in road accidents every year.
Being a pedestrian or a cautious but safe driver while others drive at unsafe speeds is an intimidating experience, so by sticking to speed limits, drivers can help make the UK’s roads safer, and more pleasant to travel on.
What’s more, thousands of animals, both wild and domestic, are struck by vehicles travelling at high speeds on the UK’s roads each year. Some of those fauna, such as deer and livestock, can cause immense damage to a vehicle and endanger passengers. By reducing road speeds across the board, not only does a driver have more time to process a sudden road hazard, it will help save wildlife from being killed or badly injured, and better preserve the UK’s natural environment.
Brake’s aim through Road Safety Week is to promote positive change through:
- People learning what ‘safe speed’ is, and encouraging discussion with other drivers on the subject to help everyone become safer on the road.
- Encouraging schools to sign up for Road Safety Week so that children and young adults can learn how to push for safer, calmer roads around their schools and their own neighbourhoods.
- Getting companies and organisations to sign up for No Need to Speed and introduce more progressive policies around driving behaviour in their workplace areas. Furthermore, creating an understanding among employees at all levels about why a culture of safe driving is so important.
- Allowing emergency service professionals to enforce speed limits more widely and for those key workers to share their experiences of the devastating impact that dangerous speeds can have on people and communities.
- Putting road safety in the spotlight at a policy-making level so that decision makers might consider more closely what changes can be made to the road environment to encourage safe speeds and calm
To be road-safe, be road-smart
It might have been a long time since you sat your theory and practical driving tests, but even if you’ve recently passed, it’s always worth having a refresher on good driving practices. Here are some things you can brush up on:
- Your stopping distance depends on your speed and the weather conditions. You’ll take longer to stop if you’re driving faster than you should on a wet or icy road surface.
- Take a moment to check legal limits on everything from tyre tread to loading your vehicle.
- Lastly – but not least – be aware of speed limits on different types of road, and limits for the type of vehicle you’re driving.
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