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16 Nov 2020

Personal Injury

No need to speed this Road Safety Week

Did you know that…

- 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?

Every year, the charity Brake co-ordinates Road Safety Week, the UK’s flagship event to promote safer road use. The event involved thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country and is supported by the Department for Transport. As so many of our personal injury clients are affected by accidents on the road, we’ve asked senior associate Victoria Smithyman, to give us some more information on how to stay safe on the roads.

“The theme for this year’s Road Safety Week is ‘No need to speed’. The week-long campaign kicks off today (16 November) and will encourage everyone to learn that the speed of traffic matters to the safety of all road users, whether you’re walking, on a bike or in a car. This theme was chosen following research that revealed that just one quarter of people think vehicles travel at a safe speed on the street where they live.

“The safety of our roads impacts all of our daily lives. Speed plays a part in every single crash that we hear about from our clients and we know that just 1 mile per hour can mean the difference between life and death on the roads.

“This quote from Brake, the charity behind Road Safety Week, really resonated with me:

“Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines the work that is done to make roads safer and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties. We want to help everyone understand why speed matters and join together to say that there is no need for speed on our roads.”

“In our line of work, we come into contact with all sorts of families whose lives have been devastated by things that happen on our roads – from car crashes and motorbike fatalities to cycling injuries and pedestrians being run over. The vast majority of them could have been prevented if the person involved were driving at a safe speed, so we are keen to support this year’s campaign and encourage everyone to think about the speed they are travelling at when they are out and about on the roads.”

Here are our 10 tips for staying safe on the road:

  1. Stick to the speed limit
  2. Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re a driver or a passenger
  3. Stay alert and take plenty of breaks on a long drive
  4. Pay attention to traffic signals and rights of way
  5. Never use your phone when driving
  6. Adjust your driving to the weather conditions
  7. Be patient and considerate with other road users
  8. Take care of your car
  9. Turn your headlights on when it starts to get dark or foggy
  10. Never drive under the influence of drink or drugs

To take part in Road Safety Week, register for a free action pack at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk

Victoria Smithyman is a senior associate solicitor in Harding Evans’ personal injury department. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a road traffic incident and would like more information about whether you are entitled to compensation, call the expert personal injury team on 01633 244233 or email hello@hevans.com.


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