As darker evenings return this month in the UK with the ‘changing of the clock’, and to support European Road Safety Day being held on 13 October, we are urging all road users to play a part in trying to reduce the toll of deaths and injuries on our roads.
Please take extra care as the nights draw in, as collision rates rise after the clocks change in October and visibility and weather conditions begin to worsen.
Department for Transport data suggests that about fifty percent of all reported road collisions at night occur in wet conditions; even though in the UK it is wet on average only 10% of the nights.
Between 3-6pm is also a dangerous time - when people are travelling home after a busy day at work and children are making their way home from school. In summer up to a quarter of all collisions happen during these hours, but when the clocks go back, heavy traffic and rapidly deteriorating light increases this statistic to a third.
Now is therefore a good time to focus on staying safe on the road this winter – whether you are driving on work business or in your own time.
The risks are particularly high during dark evenings, and drivers need to watch their speed as they are less likely to see vulnerable road users such as children, the elderly, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Parents should make sure children wear bright clothing, preferably with fluorescent or reflective strips. They should explain that it will be dark on the way home from school and it will be difficult for drivers to see them. All pedestrians ought to bear this in mind.
Cyclists can help themselves to be seen by cleaning their lights and fitting new batteries, and wearing fluorescent or reflective clothing.
Organisations can use the European Road Safety Day as a focal point to engage their employees, families and friends in road safety initiatives.