DAY FIVE – SUTAINABILITY
It’s day five of National Road Safety Week. Today’s topic is driving Sustainably – reducing the amount of journeys done by car to save lives and the environment.
In the year 2012, following on from such fantastic sporting success, much has been made of the Olympic legacy and the importance of living healthy and active lifestyles. Replacing car journeys with walking or cycling will have a positive impact on your health and research has found that regular physical activity reduces the risk of premature death by 20% to 30%. Reducing the number of journeys made by car will also have a positive impact on the environment, cutting down on carbon emissions, and also on personal safety – the safest journey is the one not made!!
Do you know what your carbon footprint is? Click here to find out how many tonnes of C02 your car emits each year http://www.2young2die.org.uk/Tools/carbon-calculator.html
Before setting off on a journey, either for work purposes or socially, ask yourself the following questions. Do you have to travel, or could you use video conferencing or another method of communication? If you have to travel, could you go by train, bus or bicycle? If you have to go by road, are you opting for the most eco-friendly route?
To play your part in National Road Safety Week, take Brake’s Pledge to Drive Safely Online.
DAY FOUR – SILENT
It’s day four of National Road Safety Week. Today’s topic involves driving Silent – without using mobile phones or hands free kits at the wheel.
Drivers using phones have slowed reaction times and difficulty controlling speed and lane position. Those who talk on phone – whether it’s hand-held or hands-free – are four times more likely to be in a crash that causes injury. This is because it’s the distraction of the call, not the holding of the phone, which is the main risk factor. Reading and writing text messages while driving is even more impairing as it takes your mind, hand and eyes off the road. Texting drivers have 35% slower reaction times and poor lane control.
Road crashes have a devastating effect on families and communities. Click hear to listen to Rebekka’s story. http://www.2young2die.org.uk/videos.html
However much you love your phone, when you are driving you need to put it out of sight and out of mind. Texting, emailing, taking or making a call (on a hand held or hands free phone), inputting details into an app, repeatedly glancing at the screen: all are major distractions that put your life and the lives of others at risk. Driving is the most dangerous and complex activity most of us do on a daily basis and it requires your full concentration. Your phone can wait.
DAY THREE – SOBER
It’s day three of National Road Safety Week. Today’s topic is driving Sober – without a drop and without a drag.
One in six road deaths is caused by a driver over the legal alcohol limit.
Any amount of alcohol or drugs seriously impairs driving behaviour and increases your chance of causing a crash. As a driver, it’s vital to be aware how long it takes to process alcohol, as in many cases you can still be unsafe to drive without knowing it the morning after drinking – one in five drivers caught drink-driving are caught the morning after. Some illegal drugs can remain in your system for weeks, and even small amounts of some legal medicinal drugs can impair your driving.
There’s no way of knowing exactly how long it takes to sober up completely after drinking, but it’s longer than many people think. As a rough guide you should allow at least one hour to absorb alcohol, plus at least one hour for each unit consumed – but it could take longer, so you should always leave extra time to be safe. Click here to use Brake’s morning after calculator;
• Never drive if there’s even a slim chance you are still ‘under the influence’.
• Some medicine labels may advise you not to drive if you feel drowsy. If you’re taking a medicine with a warning like this, do not drive, even if you feel okay.
• Never take illegal drugs. Their effects are unpredictable and lethal and you cannot determine how long they will stay in your system.
DAY TWO – SHARP
It’s day two of National Road Safety Week. Today’s topic involves driving Sharp – incorporating both driver tiredness and driver eyesight.
The Facts Eyesight:
Having good eyesight is a basic requirement of safe driving. Being an experienced and skilled driver is meaningless if your ability to spot hazards is impaired by poor vision. Yet every year in the UK alone, an estimated 12.5 million people who are due an eye test do not have one. This is particularly risky as people can lose 40% of their vision before they realise they have a problem.
Research suggests that about 300 people are killed each year as a result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. If a tired driver has caused a death, they can be charged with death by dangerous driving. The maximum penalty is 14 years in prison. Too little sleep radically affects your ability to drive safely and after five hours’ sleep you only have a one in ten chance of staying fully awake on a lengthy journey.
The Pledge Eyesight:
Make sure you get an eye-test every two years, or every year if you are over 50. If you require glasses, always wear them whilst driving.
Make sure that you get enough sleep before you travel, at least five hours and ideally seven hours or more. Inform your employer if you are having trouble sleeping. You may suffer from a medical condition such as sleep apnoea (heavy snoring and repeatedly waking up because of breathing difficulties) which can be treated. Take regular breaks whilst driving (at least every two hours) and if you are feeling tired whilst driving, take action!
DAY ONE – SLOW
It’s national Road Safety Week!! The week is co-ordinated by Brake, the road safety charity, and raises awareness about the 5 deaths and 66 serious injuries which take place every day on UK roads, causing emotional trauma to families and communities.
Every day this week, we will be cascading information about road safety, and encouraging you to commit to key aspects of driving behaviour which will greatly help to keep you and others safe on the roads. Today’s topic is driving Slowly – making sure that you are going at an appropriate speed for the conditions.
The Facts – GO20
Brake is launching a new campaign today called GO20, which will raise awareness about the benefits of slowing down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops. It’s a life-saver because it gives you a good chance of stopping in time in an emergency, and there are also a whole host of additional benefits, with safer communities leading to more walking and cycling, less pollution and lower costs to the NHS.
Lower urban speeds are particularly good for kids. Research shows children struggle to judge speed when vehicles are doing more than 20mph, yet some drivers expect them to keep out of the way or pay the price. We say kids – and everyone else! – should be able to walk and cycle without their lives being endangered.
Small increases in your speed will make a big difference to your stopping distance. The minimum stopping distance you can expect if you travel at 20mph is 12 metres or three car lengths. Increase your speed to 30mph and the stopping distance is at least 23 metres or six car lengths. Click here to play Brake’s online stopping distance game http://www.2young2die.org.uk/Tools/stopping-distances.html.
If you drive, you can make a huge difference now, by making a simple pledge: stay well within limits, and slow down to 20 around homes, schools and shops, even where the limit is still 30. You will be helping to protect people, doing your bit for your community (and other communities) and you’ll hardly notice the difference to your journey time. In fact, you may find journeys smoother, less stressful, and you may use less petrol.