When this year moves into 2020, it will mark an entire decade of consistency in the level of deaths on Britain’s roads. Since 2010, around 1,700 lives have been lost every single year.
And then there are the injured survivors. The combined number of deaths and estimated injuries from the National Travel Survey equates to more than two for each mile of paved road.
Of course, the number of injuries and deaths has plummeted when you compare casualty figures from the 1970s. This might be attributable to the introduction of compulsory seatbelts, vehicle technology, tougher penalties for offences like drink driving, and awareness campaigns. But progress has stagnated. The 1,700 lost lives and hundreds of thousands of injuries mean there is no room for complacency, which is why Road Safety Week, this week, is still so relevant and important.
Last week, Nottinghamshire Police released shocking dash-cam footage of a lorry careering into the back of a Renault Clio, leaving the young woman behind the wheel with severe life-changing injuries to her back and neck. The driver had a lapse in concentration. It demonstrates that we must never lose focus on driving safely, not even for a second. Debate goes on about new legislation or infrastructure to improve road safety, but the obvious starting point is with the road users themselves. Let’s never stop reminding each other to be conscientious and look after one another.
APIL is committed to injured people and believes unreservedly that the best way to serve them is to do all it can to ensure they are not injured in the first place. It seems a fitting time for a reminder of the tips and mottos APIL heard during its own Injury Prevention Day back in August, when we asked people to share the informal ‘driving lessons’ they’ve heard from others. Pass them on.
- A fast drive could be your last drive
- Stay wider of the rider
- Do not accelerate into the unknown
- Only a fool breaks the two second rule
- Have a long distance relationship with the car in front
- Look, look and look again
- Drive to arrive
- A motor is a deadly weapon
- Amber gamblers won’t always win