Hats off to Brake, the organisation behind the campaign, they did a great job raising awareness of the importance of road safety. The theme of the week was ‘Look out for each other’, and as far as raising awareness about road safety goes, it was a fantastic effort. There was a great deal of news coverage both at a national and local level, and there was plenty of action and activity right across the UK – all taking place in a bid to make our roads safer places to be.
With the topic of road safety so high on the news agenda for the duration of the week, I’m sure that many people learned a lot.
One of the most startling statistics I came across was released by Brake and concerned the number of school children in the North East – where our Effective Transport Solutions driver training centre is based – who had been involved in, or nearly involved in, car-related accidents.
The report, carried by ITV, showed that almost half (49 per cent) of primary school children in the region had been hit, or nearly hit by a vehicle whilst on foot or on a bike.
The report went on to say that 76 people were killed and 726 seriously injured on the region’s roads, and that a careless or speeding driver was stopped every 11 minutes.
Sobering stuff indeed, certainly a set of figures that will make us think. Being part of an organisation set up to increase road safety, I must say that I did find it refreshing to see the subject hitting the headlines and to see so much focus being turned upon it. However, what is clear – especially in light of the figures released during Road Safety Week – is that there is still so much to be done.
We all know that there is no quick fix to solving the problem of danger on our roads. The good thing, however, is that it is something that each and every one of us who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle can actually do something about.
One of the major things to tackle, I believe, is driver complacency. On the back of the driver training we deliver here at Effective Transport Solutions, one of the most frequent pieces of feedback we receive focuses on just this topic. We get people who have been driving for years who take a session on one of our simulators and – in a risk free environment – are put through sets of scenarios that get them to cast a critical eye over their ingrained driving habits.
Even the most confident drivers are often shocked at the way bad habits creep up on them over the months and years, and at how much having a spotlight turned upon their driving skills helped them to identify areas where they were falling way short – driving failures which had for a long time gone unnoticed.
Road Safety Week 2014 may be behind us, but there remains a long struggle ahead. By really questioning the way you drive, you can do your bit in the fight to make Britain’s roads safer for everyone. So look out for each other and remember – we can all improve the way we drive.