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Road Safety Week calls on us all to slow down

View profile for Dan Thompson
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The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns may have required a change of pace in our lives, but this Road Safety Week, road safety charity Brake is reminding us all about the dangers of speeding on our roads.  Dan Thompson, Partner in our Personal Injury team, explains more about the week, why it is so important and how we can still assist you if you require advice following an accident.

What is Road Safety Week?

Road Safety Week will run this year from 16th November to 22nd November and is the annual campaign organised by Brake to raise awareness amongst communities, businesses and schools of the hazards on our roads and to campaign in a bid to improve road safety.  While there has been less traffic on our roads in recent months, accidents do still occur and can lead to a life-changing, serious brain or spinal injury, or in the worst case scenario, can be fatal.

“According to Brake, every 20 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road,” begins Dan.  “The theme for this year’s Road Safety Week is No Need to Speed in a bid to make drivers consider their speed when travelling.  Drivers should not only consider the speed limit of the road they are travelling on, but also the conditions of the road, which is even more important at this time of year when surroundings are more hazardous with darker mornings and evenings, as well as more inclement weather.”

Reducing our speed not only makes our roads a safer place but can also help our own mental wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us.  According to Brake, slower traffic leads to a more welcoming feeling in our towns and communities, meaning that those who choose to walk or cycle can do so feeling safer. 

Can I still access rehabilitation during Covid-19?

While there may be some delays to rehabilitation services, they are still available and it is always advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible following an accident.  “Understandably, valuable NHS resources are being diverted currently to assist with the pandemic; however there are options for you if you require rehabilitation urgently," explains Dan.  “In the event that you have sustained an injury, we could seek to fund privately paid medical care by way of an interim payment from the negligent driver’s insurance company.  Some experts are meeting in person if they are able to do so safely, alternatively there is the option of video conferencing which has been successful in the last few months.”

Traffic on our roads has fluctuated since the first lockdown when Cabinet Office data shows motor traffic dropped by 73% on 29th March, and this may continue to be lower than pre-Covid numbers as, even when businesses re-open, more people are being encouraged to work from home if they can.  However, in April 2020 UK police reported that a minority of people took advantage of the quieter roads leading to an increase in speeding motorists, with some travelling at more than double the speed limit.  One driver in London was recorded driving at 134mph in a 40mph limit in London, in Greater Manchester one was caught driving 115mph in a 40mph road and in Lincolnshire speeding doubled under lockdown despite traffic reducing by two thirds of normal levels. 

“We tend to speed when we are in a rush, running late or feeling anxious about where we need to be, but really there is no excuse for speeding and just 1mph can be the difference between life and death in a road traffic collision,” concludes Dan.  “An accident of this nature will be traumatic, and could inadvertently lead to more tragedy currently with the diversion of emergency services workers away from tackling the pandemic, as well as the increased risk of exposing those involved to the virus.  So we join Brake in urging people to consider their speed when getting behind the wheel, not just for their own safety but for those around them.”

If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury following a road traffic collision, you can contact Dan or a member of the Personal Injury team on 0800 91 92 30 or email injuryteam@warnergoodman.co.uk to discuss the next steps in bringing a claim for compensation. 

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.