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Importance of Road Safety Week highlighted with new figures

View profile for Andy Munden
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As this week draws to a close so too does Road Safety Week for another year; a cause that Hampshire law firm, Warner Goodman LLP, are avid supporters of. The week is organised by road safety charity, Brake, who have released startling figures demonstrating why we all need to review our habits on the roads and question whether we need to use a car to make our journeys.

“Brake conducted a survey of 1,000 adults about their driving habits, and while 75% of those surveyed think people use their cars too much, only 30% see themselves as being guilty of doing this themselves,” begins Andy. “This shows that while people are aware of the problem, they don’t consider themselves as being part of the solution, which is to use public transport, walk or cycle to their destinations whenever they can.”

There are five deaths and 64 serious injuries on UK roads every day, which is 4% up on last year. “This number is concerning, especially as the numbers are on the rise,” continues Andy. “Reducing the number of fatalities and injuries is of course the priority here, and there are many more benefits to reducing the number of cars on our roads. One would be less air pollution, which is another fatal consequence from our roads, but maybe not so obvious. An estimated 52,500 people die each year in the UK from polluted air, and 27% of UK CO2 emissions are generated from road transport [5].”

A further benefit of leaving our car at home is to improve our physical fitness. “We’re all aware that obesity is a growing concern in the UK, and Brake’s research shows that 43% of adults don’t meet the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week,” continues Andy. “Choosing to walk, cycle or even take public transport so you’re walking to and from stops, will help to meet that recommendation.”

The Hampshire law firm have displayed their banner of support for Road Safety Week outside St James Primary School in West End, Southampton. “Swapping your car for exercise is an excellent message for children when doing the school run as it sends them a positive message about keeping active and will also help them to stay alert during the day,” continues Andy. “However, half of children are now driven to school even though the average school run for primary schools is only 1.5 miles [13]. We’ve decided to display our banner for Road Safety Week outside St James Primary School as they are running their own campaign to encourage parents to leave their cars at home when dropping off and collecting their children from school.”

Andy concludes, “There does appear to be a vicious circle occurring, as the Brake survey found that 35% of non-cyclists would cycle if their routes to work were safer, but how are the roads going to be safer until we start to make that commitment to not travel by car [10]. Something does need to change in order to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads, and Road Safety Week is an excellent way to raise this awareness.”

Find out more about Road Safety Week and Brake’s drive less live more campaign, or tweet your support: @Brakecharity, #RoadSafetyWeek, #drivelesslivemore.

If you’ve been injured on the roads you can contact Andy or the Personal Injury team to discuss your options for financial compensation, or access to rehabilitation on 0800 91 92 30 or via their section of the website here.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.

For media enquiries, interviews with Brake, and to find out about regional Road Safety Week launch events across the UK contact news@brake.org.uk.

[5] Local authority carbon dioxide emissions estimates 2012, Department of Energy & Climate Change

[10] Commuters call for safer streets for cycling, to enable more to get on their bikes, Brake

[13] Donabie, Anna, Transport: Social Trends 41, Office for National Statistic