Now that the clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in. It’s important to think about your safety and well-being when you are out and about during the evening. Recent road accidents statistics released by the Department for Transport (DfT) states there have been over 27,000 incidents where someone was killed or seriously injured – an increase of 9% when compared the previous year.
Seasonal events like Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night attract families with young children, which also highlights the importance of road safety during these times. Road accident statistics recorded between October to December 2016 shows 1,780 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured on our roads, of which 364 of those were children. Unsurprisingly, the month of October also saw the highest number of child casualties that occurred in the year (DfT Reported road casualties, 2016).
In light of the above statistics, we have compiled a list of basic road safety tips including those taken from the Governments ‘Highway Code’:
- Use dedicated pedestrian crossings at all times to cross the road.
- Remind children to put all electronic devices away be vigilant before crossing. (Remember Stop, Look, Listen?)
- Be careful when walking up driveways. There could be cars pulling in or reversing out.
- Try to walk on a footpath or pavement at all times. If there are none then keep in single file to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic.
- Carry something that’s bright or fluorescent (arm band, jacket, footwear etc) to help other road users/drivers to see you when it’s dark.
- Carry a small torch that you can easily clip on to your key chain or using your smartphone’s torch app.
- On Halloween or Bonfire nights try to make sure children are accompanied by an adult.
- Ensure you stick to the speed limits, especially in residential areas and be extra cautious for children who may suddenly appear from between parked vehicles.
- Be extra vigilant when approaching junctions or zebra crossings. People may be in dark clothing making them harder to spot at night.
- Eliminate all distractions from inside your car so that you can concentrate better.
- Take extra care when entering or exiting driveways, especially if you are reversing out on to the main road. Check all blind spots before reversing (we all learn this to pass our driving tests for good reason).
- Ensure your headlights are working and not obscured by dust or dirt. Switch them on before dusk so you’re not inadvertently driving around unseen.