Given the amount of discussion behind my last video regarding the relationship between cyclists and motorists, I thought I’d look at road safety. The people I’ve been speaking to have also brought pedestrians into that mix too. While cyclists and pedestrians have their fair share of inconsiderate moments on the roads, it’s car users we are looking at.
Vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and motorcyclists account for almost half (49%) of deaths on the road each year. In the UK in 2013, 405 people were killed and 5,160 seriously injured walking, and 113 people were killed and 3,185 seriously injured when cycling. That’s 24 people a day killed or seriously injured on foot or bike – one every hour.
Of course, cyclists and pedestrians can never be too careful but car drivers need to be more aware of those around them. We all need to look out for each other.
Brake are taking it upon themselves to get all road users to look out for one another. This means taking more care and being more aware of those around you.
Advice for drivers
Every 1mph reduction in average speeds causes, on average, a 5% reduction in crash rates, and drivers who speed are nearly twice as likely to have been involved in a crash.
Try to stick to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops. Your stopping distance in an emergency will be half what it is at 30mph, and in busy urban areas you won’t notice a difference in your journey time. You’ll save on fuel, vehicle wear and emissions.
Vulnerable road users are often at risk from vehicles manoeuvring, such as at junctions, where they may not be seen in a blind spot. 75% of cyclist collisions occur at or near junctions when vehicles are turning.
Take it really slow at junctions and bends, look longer and carefully check mirrors before manoeuvring. Always assume a pedestrian or cyclist may be there; never just assume it’s safe to turn.
You should also consider your route and if you can minimise driving in communities. Consider if you need to make your journey by car at all: could you walk, cycle, or take public transport? Studies show active travel makes you happier as well as healthier
We need to stop pointing fingers and blaming accidents on everyone and anyone. Regardless of blame, it’s time we all start to work together on making the roads safer.
To find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved. Take a look at the Brake website.