Stop living in the fast lane

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  • It’s Road Safety Week (20-26th November, 2017), and their theme is “Speed down, saves lives”, highlighting the problems in the UK that contribute to needless crashes, suffering and affects people trying to live safe and healthy lives.


    We all know that driving is dangerous. It’s unpredictable, as are the people around it. Even the most observant person can’t predict what others are going to do completely.


    However, if a child runs into the road three car lengths ahead of a vehicle travelling at 30mph, the vehicle will not stop in time. If the vehicle had been travelling at 20mph, the driver had been paying attention, has well-maintained brakes and driving in dry conditions, the child would be safe. Driving at 20mph in Warrington, Cheshire found pedestrian and cyclist casualties dropped by 36%, while 75 limit 20mph sites in Scotland showed a drop of 42%.


    Driving at 20mph in towns and cities not only reduces casualties, but also reduced carbon emissions as is reduced the times when cars need to slowing down and speeding up. It increases wellbeing, adopts a safer community, meaning neighbours are friendlier and take part in more community activities. Research also links driving at 20mph and economic sustainability of local areas, as safer walking and cycling zones mean that the area is more desirable to live in, boosting local business and increasing the value of homes in the area.


    However, four in ten drivers admit to breaking the speeding limit by at least 10mph, with 40% of drivers admitting that they drive at 30mph in a 20mph zone. Just over a quarter (26%) admit that they exceed a 20mph speed limit by at least 10mph at least once a month. Furthermore, another four in ten drivers admit that they drive over 40mph in a 30mph zone. A quarter (26%) of drivers even admitted that they do this regularly.


    We advise that you keep at least a two-second gap behind the vehicle in front of you, more at higher speeds. And if you don’t know the speed limit, err on the side of caution and go slower; you’re gambling with danger, penalty points, even being banned from driving if you are speeding.


    Finally, if you are someone who sneezes a lot due to the sun or pollen, bear in mind that since your eyes automatically close when you sneeze on average you will lose control of your vehicle for about six seconds each time. So it may be worth pulling over!


    For more information and to see how you can be involved, visit road safety week.