COMPANY car drivers are being urged to take the Brake Pledge to help reduce fatal accidents on the roads of Britain.
The road safety charity says that five people are killed every single day by something we already know how to cure. It claims that if people change their driving behaviour the 470 deaths and serious injuries that happen on our roads every week can be prevented.
That’s why Road Safety Week 2016, which is coordinated by Brake, will focus on the six elements of the Brake Pledge: Slow, Sober, Secure, Silent, Sharp and Sustainable.
Road Safety Week is November 21-27 and the charity is asking everyone, particularly those who drive for a living, to show their commitment to saving lives and road safety by making and sharing the Brake Pledge online. Non drivers can also take the pledge to make sure the driver of any car they are a passenger in sticks to the six pledge points.
Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, said: “We’ve designed this year’s Road Safety Week theme to be action orientated.
“Anyone can make and share the pledge. It is a particularly useful framework to follow for company car drivers. It’s practical, and if every driver vowed to, slow down, never drink or take drugs when driving or use their mobiles, always wear a seat belt, get their eyesight regularly, then our roads would be safer places for everyone.
“Those who do drive for work are more at risk to both themselves and others. It is vital that these drivers follow the correct procedures to ensure they protect both themselves and others around them.”
Brake believes that good road safety is made up of the six core strands of the pledge, and a safe driver will adopt each one as part of his or her daily driving routine.
- Slow: Trying to make up time when running late, particularly for business appointments, could be the difference between a safe journey and one that ends in a fatality. Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for the conditions is recorded by police at crash scenes as a contributory factor in more than one in four (27%) fatal crashes in Great Britain.
- Sober: That one drink a driver has before getting behind the wheel could affect their ability to make a split-second decision, a decision that might prevent them from killing either themselves or another road user. In 2013 one in 10 (11%) of drivers/motorcycle riders killed had alcohol present in their body even though they weren’t over the limit. One in seven road deaths are at the hands of someone who got behind the wheel over the limit.
- Secure: Despite their huge impact on road safety, seat belts are still seen as an inconvenience by a minority of drivers, yet using a three-point belt reduces the chance of dying in a crash by 50%. Twenty one per cent of car occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
- Silent: That phone call a driver thinks simply can’t wait could cost them or another road user their life. Drivers who perform a complex secondary task at the wheel, like using a mobile, are three times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers.
- Sharp: Booking in for a regular eye test should be at the top of any driver’s to-do list, as a skipped test may cost someone their life. Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties and cost £33 million in the UK per year.
- Sustainable: By minimising the amount of time company car drivers spend behind the wheel after their working day and walking, cycling or using public transport instead they are removing the potential for many crashes to happen in the first place.
For more information about the Brake Pledge and how it can help company car drivers, click here.