Articles Tagged ‘road safety - Brake the road safety charity’

About us and our supporters

UNPBrake34134York030Road safety affects everyone. It affects whether children can go to the park or walk to school, elderly people can get to the shops, people can take up cycling to get to work or get fit, and families feel safe to get around their neighbourhoods.

For some people, it changes everything. Road crashes and casualties end lives too soon, rip families apart, leave communities reeling in shock and victims feeling alone and without hope.

Brake is a road safety charity working with communities and organisations across the UK to stop the tragedy of road deaths and injuries, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and support people bereaved and seriously injured on roads. (We also work in New Zealand and run global projects.)

For answers to frequently asked questions about Brake, click here.

Annual Report 2017

See our Annual Report 2017 for more on Brake’s mission to promote safe and sustainable transport, and provide support to the victims of road crashes.

Annual Report 2016

Annual Report 2015

Brake’s vision

Brake's vision is a world that has zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair.

We are a humanitarian charity, working with urgency and in partnership with others to implement evidence-led solutions to a crisis that affects us all and our planet. Read our vision, mission, values and aims

Brake’s work

Every day in the UK, five people die on roads and about 60 more are seriously injured, causing needless loss of life and inflicting terrible suffering.

RSWnzWe work to stop these tragedies and support people left bereaved and injured. We also work to end the danger, threat and pollution from traffic that blights communities and affects families across the UK.We have been working since 1995 to make a difference across the UK.

We promote road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies through campaignscommunity educationinformation and advice for organisations operating fleets of vehicles and road safety professionals, and the UK’s flagship road safety event, Road Safety Week. We provide essential support to people across the UK devastated by road death and serious injury to help them in their darkest hours.

Our work includes:

  • running an accredited, expert helpline and providing support literature to help bereaved and seriously injured road crash victims cope with their grief, deal with bewildering practical matters and access the help they need. Our helpline supports more than 500 families a year and our support packs are handed to families by police following every UK road death
  • coordinating national Road Safety Week every November, involving about 10,000 schools, employers and road safety professionals, raising awareness about road safety in communities across the UK
  • campaigning for essential road safety policies and wider awareness, such as through our flagship Know it & Solve it, Pace for People, Modern Vehicles and Driving for Zero campaigns
  • calling on drivers to slow down to protect children, and organising a Beep Beep! Day initiative for pre-schoolers
  • running a membership scheme, producing resources and running webinars and conferences to help fleet managers, employers and road safety practitioners
  • encouraging people to make our Brake Pledge and use our road safety advice, to help everyone to use roads safely and sustainably
  • making sure our voice is heard in the media.  

Our work is supported by many household names. Read comments from our celebrity supporters.

Brake's trustees

Our trustees include a senior personal injury solicitor, a professor of emergency medicine, and the chief scientist at TRL, the UK's Transport Research Laboratory. Find out more here.

Brake staff

You can meet some of the Brake team here.

Support Brake

Brake is proud to do a lot with limited resources, but we need your help to do more. We are funded by donations from, and fundraising by, individuals, groups, schools and companies, and through grants – huge thanks to all our supporters. Here are some of the ways you can help us grow and increase our impact. 

Corporate partnership: organisations can show their support for safer roads and road crash victims, and work with us to make road safety central to their CSR activities.

Fundraise: there are endless ways to support and promote the road safety cause in your community or organisation.

Join: keep up to date with our work and road safety. Get our fortnightly news bulletin, or bulletins for professionals or educators. Employers and practitioners: join our Brake Professional scheme.

Donate: the quickest and simplest way to help.

Follow and share: on FacebookTwitterYouTube, Vimeo and LinkedIn.

Contact us: find out how to get in touch.

 

Advice for drivers

When you drive you’re in charge of a fast-moving chunk of metal that can do a lot of damage to you and other people. That’s why you have a particular responsibility to do everything you can to be safe and protect the people around you.

The good news is there are some really simple steps you can take to hugely reduce your chances of being in a serious crash.

Follow Brake’s advice on each key topic below, and you’ll be helping to prevent devastating crashes, make our streets and communities safer, happier places, and doing your bit for the environment.

Then make our Pledge, a six point plan to help keep yourself and others safe on roads.

 slow2 Slow
Speed
Winter and bad weather driving
 sober2 Sober
Drink and drug driving 
 Securethumb Secure
Seat belts and child seats
Vehicle maintenance and breakdowns
 Silentthumb Silent
Distractions 
 Sharpthumb

Sharp
Eyesight and other medical conditions
Fatigue and driving 
Stress

Sustainablethumb Sustainable
Sustainable

Make the Brake Pledge

For more in depth information on more topics, go to our fact pages.

Advice for motorcyclists

motorbikeMotorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and are disproportionately involved in crashes and casualties. Despite making up less than 1% of road traffic they account for 18% of deaths in collisions, and are 38 times more likely to die in a crash than drivers or passengers in cars.[i],[ii] Those new to or returning to motorcycling need to be especially aware of the risks, and understand how these can be seriously reduced by getting the right training and wearing full protective clothing.

To help keep yourself and others safe on the roads, read our advice below on:

Wear the right protective gear

Wearing high-quality protective clothing, particularly when fitted with body armour, reduces the risk and severity of crash-related injury and hospitalisation.[iii] Before buying protective gear, check out the latest reviews, and buy the best that you can afford from a dealer you can trust.

Helmet

Helmets save lives, prevent or reduce the severity of brain and facial injuries, and protect your eyes from wind, dust, insects or flying gravel. Riders who do not wear helmets face a 40% higher risk of fatal injury and a 15% higher chance of other injuries including life-changing brain damage.[iv] For general advice on motorbike helmets, visors and goggles, see this Department for Transport information sheet.

Buy a full-face (not open-face) helmet with strong chin pieces and energy-absorbing liners to offer the most protection to your face and neck as well as head. Your helmet should meet the British Standard BS 6658:1985 standard and carry the BSI kitemark; or it should meet UNECE Regulation 22-05 – there should be stickers indicating this. Choose one that is brightly coloured and easily visible, with a clear non-tinted visor.

The Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) has tested hundreds of helmet models, rating each one according to how much protection it offers. You can use their website to find a helmet within your budget that meets high safety standards.

Do not buy a second-hand helmet. Buy your helmet from a reputable dealer, and make sure you try it on beforehand. A properly-fitting helmet is essential and dramatically increases your chances of surviving a crash.[v] The SHARP programme also offers life-saving guidance on choosing the best helmet fit.

If you drop your helmet, replace it immediately even if it looks ok.

Clothing

Gloves

Protective clothing helps save your skin and helps keep you warm and dry every time you ride. More than a third of motorcyclists admitted to hospital suffer serious injuries to their arms or legs, and one in 20 later die from the injuries they sustained.[vi] Clothing should:

  • be made of good-quality leather, or a high-performance textile alternative, with good-quality seams and as few seams as possible. Ask your retailer for details of which safety standards they meet before buying, and whether the safety rating applies to the whole garment or just the body armour;
  • be fitted with body armour on the back, shoulders, elbows, knees and shins;
  • fit properly; it should be snug but with enough room for layers of warm clothing underneath and so your movement is not restricted; and
  • be fluorescent during the day and reflective at night to help other drivers spot you.

Make sure you combine your protective suit with strong, flexible, waterproof gloves and biker boots, made either of leather or a high-performance textile alternative, to offer you the best protection if you come off your bike. Gloves should cover high enough up your arms that they do not come off in a crash. Both gloves and boots should fit comfortably and snugly, allowing you to grip the handlebars properly and operate the controls easily.

For further information on protective clothing, see:
Essential Guide to Protective Gear for Bikers (Think!)
Motorcycle Clothing Advice (Begin Motorcycling)

Safer riding

Speed

The faster you go, the less time you have to react to and avoid hazards and people, and the harder you will hit in the event of a crash. Motorbikes don’t have air bags or side-impact bars, so if you are involved in a collision, you’re exposed to the full force of impact. By staying well within speed limits, and slowing down further for riskier situations and conditions, you will have more time to react.

Stopping distances for motorbikes

Average stopping distances for motorbikes from the moment you realise you need to brake to the moment you stop are:

At 30mph – 23 metres (75 feet)
At 50mph – 53 metres (175 feet, or more than twice as far)
At 70mph – 96 metres (315 feet, or than four times as far)[vii]

Stay well within the speed limit at all times and maintain a two-second gap (four in the wet, much more in icy conditions) between you and the vehicle in front; it’s your braking space in a crisis.

More than two-thirds of motorcyclist deaths occur in rural areas.[viii] Even if you’re an experienced motorcyclist and know the road well, ride at a speed that would enable you to stop within the stretch of road you can see, slow right down for bends, and hang back and enjoy the ride rather than overtaking. People live, drive, walk, cycle and ride horses in the country, so don’t be tempted to think the road’s all yours. Presume that someone or something is round every bend and over every brow and slow down appropriately.

Like motorcyclists, people on foot or on bicycle are vulnerable road users. Help to protect them by going at 20mph or below in towns and villages.

Defensive riding techniques

In Europe, 69% of reported crashes involving motorbikes were found to have been at least partially caused by other road users not seeing the rider.[ix] Make sure you practise defensive riding techniques to safeguard yourself as much as possible against other drivers’ inattention. If you are a car driver, looking out for cyclists and motorcyclists, especially at junctions, will help reduce needless deaths and injuries.

63360979531906711008 Raider 1st Ride 1Defensive riding techniques

  • slow down: give yourself time to react
  • make yourself visible
  • position yourself on the safest part of the road (this will vary depending on the circumstances)
  • look out over the handlebars and ‘read’ the road and its traffic far ahead
  • check mirrors and other views frequently
  • take a ‘lifesaver’ or ‘shoulder check’ glance behind you before carrying out a manoeuvre
  • stay alert to everything that is going on around you
  • try to make eye contact with other drivers, but don’t presume that they have seen you
  • stay vigilant for clues as to what other road users might do next, but never presume that they will do what they should do.
  • For more tips on defensive riding, see BikeSafe’s Advice Centre.

Hazards

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Listen to weather forecasts before riding, especially in winter. The best way to be safe is to avoid riding altogether in bad conditions. If you get caught out in bad weather, consider stopping overnight somewhere if you have a long way to go. Take breaks at least every two hours to stay alert and focused. You should do this at all times, but it’s especially important in cold weather, when you can become tired much more quickly. You can also become tired quickly if the weather is hot – again, take regular breaks, and make sure that you stay properly hydrated.

Be extra vigilant at junctions. A major killer of motorcyclists is drivers failing to spot them at junctions and pulling out.[x] As you approach a junction, consider shifting your road position slightly, which can help drivers see you approach.

Many motorcycle collisions take place at bends in the road.[xi] Take bends slowly, and adjust your road position depending on whether it is a left or right-hand bend. You can read further advice on cornering on the BikeSafe website. Be particularly vigilant for any suspicious wet-looking patches or long dark lines on a dry road, or rainbow-coloured patches on a wet road – these are an indication of spilled diesel, which can be as lethal as black ice. Never ride close to the central white line on a right-hand bend; if you do, your head will be in the path of any oncoming vehicles.

Bike maintenance

Make sure your motorbike is fit for the road and won’t let you down. Keep your bike clean and carry out simple, regular maintenance checks – spotting a problem with a tyre or brake pad could save your life.

For maintenance tips, see:
Give your bike a health check (Think!)
Basic motorcycle maintenance (MotorCycle Direct)

Read Brake’s detailed advice for drivers on speed, fatigue, bad weather, and other topics, much of which is relevant for motorcyclists too.

Travelling in groups

Riding in groups carries risks; in particular, peer pressure can cause motorcyclists to go faster than they feel comfortable.[xii] In crashes involving people riding in groups, the victim is often a new biker or someone new to the group.

To reduce risks, keep your group size to as few riders as possible, and show the strength of character to ride well within speed limits and slow down further for risky situations and conditions. Use the two second rule to keep your distance from the rider in front; it’s your braking space in a crisis.

Plan a route ahead of time, arranging regular, safe stopping places so that if anyone falls behind they know where to meet. Agree on rules such as not overtaking each other and not speeding. If anyone else breaks the rules, or is driving too fast for the conditions, drop back and don’t feel pressured to keep up.

You might also consider putting more experienced riders at the back of the group, so that they can look out for the less experienced. It also means that newer motorcyclists are less likely to rush to catch up with the rest of the group.

For further advice on travelling in groups safely, visit: Bikesafe.

Carrying passengers

Carrying a passenger affects the handling of a motorbike and the safest option is to not carry passengers at all. You can only carry a passenger if you have a full motorbike licence and the appropriate insurance, and should only consider doing so if you are a skilled, experienced rider.

If you do carry a pillion passenger, you should:300px Motorcycle.riders.arp

  • Only carry a passenger if your motorbike is designed to carry two people – by law, it needs to have suitable seat and foot supports for the pillion passenger;
  • Make sure the total weight on the bike does not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended maximum. You may also have to make minor adjustments to parts of your bike such as headlight direction, tyre pressure, suspension or chain – check your bike’s handbook;
  • Make sure your passenger is wearing a helmet and full, properly-fitting protective clothing;
  • Tell your passenger what they should do while on the bike; sit still, lean with the bike, keep feet on the foot rests; and
  • Remember that carrying a passenger will lengthen your braking distance, slow acceleration, make steering lighter, and affect cornering and balance.

Carrying children on motorbikes

Motorbikes are inherently much, much riskier than other modes of transport, and children are particularly vulnerable to serious injury or death in a crash.[xiii]

If you are making a long journey, then the safest way to transport children is by train or bus. If you are making a short journey, the best way is on foot, holding your child’s hand.

If you are determined to carry a child on a motorbike (legally, parental permission is required, and the child needs to be able to reach the footrests), then ensure they wear the highest standard of protective clothing, including boots, gloves, trousers, jacket and helmet, all of which must fit them exactly. But remember that no amount of protective gear will protect you or your child in many kinds of crashes.

For more advice on carrying a passenger visit:
UK law on carrying a passenger
Pillion Passenger Questions (Begin Motorcycling) 
Tips for drivers and passengers (The Lazy Motorbike)

Train up and be a better rider

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Inexperience can leave younger riders at much higher risk of death or serious injury. In 2016, more than 1,000 riders aged 20-24 were killed or seriously hurt in collisions in Britain, far more than any other age group.[xiv] At this age, young people are at a critical stage of brain development, which can lead to more impulsive and risk-taking behaviour. To reduce the risk of a crash, consider gaining more experience on bikes with smaller engines before progressing to more powerful ones, or taking additional post-test training such as the Government’s enhanced rider scheme.

Whatever your age and experience, extra training can improve your safety. An advanced training course can help improve your skills, whether you have just passed your test, are returning to riding after a break, are considering buying a more powerful bike, or want to become a safer, smoother, more skilful rider.

One-to-one tuition is preferable, so that all the advice is aimed specifically at you. The Motor Cycle Industry Association recommends the ratio should be no more than two to one. Ensure the course you choose includes an assessment of your riding, to help you identify areas for improvement.

If you ride for work purposes, ask your employer if they’ll pay for a course; they have a responsibility to ensure you are safe on the road.

Some local authorities also offer riding assessments or subsidised courses – check with your local road safety officer, or see the BikeSafe website, which is particularly useful if you are returning to biking. The Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre (MCIAC) is also a useful resource to find your nearest MCIAC-accredited training school.

References

[1] Department for Transport (2017), Reported road casualties Great Britain 2016

[2] Think, Advice for motorcyclists, http://think.direct.gov.uk/motorcycles.html

[3]  De Rome, L. et al (2011), Motorcycle protective clothing: Protection from injury or just the weather? Accident; Analysis and Prevention 43(6), 1893-1900

[4] IIHSHLDI (2016), Head injuries rise as riders ditch helmets in Michigan, Status report 51(7), 5

[5] Wen-Yu, Y. et al (2011), Effectiveness of different types of motorcycle helmets and effects of their improper use on head injuries, International Journal of Epidemiology 40(3), 794-803

[6] Brake (2017), Road collisions responsible for 1 in 5 trauma admissions to hospitals, http://roadsafetyweek.org.uk/new/638-trauma-admissions

[7] Begin Motorcycling, https://begin-motorcycling.co.uk/

[8] Department for Transport (2017), Reported road casualties Great Britain 2016, table ras40004

[9] MAIDS: Motorcycle Accidents In-depth Study (2009), In-depth investigations of accidents involving powered two wheelers final report 2.0, http://www.maids-study.eu/pdf/MAIDS2.pdf

[10] Crundall D. et al (2012), Why do car drivers fail to give way to motorcyclists at T-junctions? Accident; Analysis and Prevention 44(1), 88-96

[11] Department for Transport (2017), Reported road casualties Great Britain 2016, table ras20008

[12] Watson, B. et al (2007), Psychological and social factors influencing motorcycle rider intentions and behaviour, https://eprints.qut.edu.au/9103/1/road_rgr_200704.pdf

[13] Department for Transport (2017), Reported road casualties Great Britain 2016

[14] Department for Transport (2017), Reported road casualties Great Britain 2016, table ras30073



 

Updated December 2018

An introduction to teaching road safety

Engaged in the right way, children and young people can really enjoy studying and campaigning for road safety because it is an issue they can understand and that affects them. And teaching road safety is a great way for you to reach goals for citizenship, health and safety and across the curriculum. This page provides an introduction to teaching road safety effectively and why it is such an important topic to teach.

Sensitivity issues
Before teaching road safety, check whether any children have been bereaved by, or hurt in, or witnessed a serious a road crash, and be sensitive to their needs. Talk to them and their carers about whether they wish to be excluded from classroom lessons that discuss death or injury. Brake has developed resources for children bereaved by road crashes and their carers. Call our help line 0845 603 8570 to obtain these resources.

Why road safety is an important teaching topic
Every death of a child is devastating for a nursery, school or college. You can play a vital role in protecting children by incorporating road safety into lessons and engaging in activities to get life-saving messages across to pupils, parents and throughout the local community. You also have a responsibility to ensure high standards of road safety when on trips away from your school on foot or by vehicle. You are also at the heart of a community and therefore well placed to work with local government to implement necessary road safety engineering improvements, such as crossings or lower speed limits, on local roads.

Road safety also falls within curriculum requirements. It appears in different parts of the curriculum in different parts of Britain. In England, for example, road safety education is part of the statory frameworks for PSHE and citizenship at key stages 1 and 2. It also can be linked to the wider curriculum, in subject areas such as geography, maths and science. For more on prioritising road safety to meet curriculum requirements, see the Department of Transport's guidance on delivering road safety education in your early years setting or school.

When explaining to colleagues why you want to focus on road safety, you might want to mention these 7 important points:

  1. For every child killed, about ten more are seriously injured, causing brain injuries, paralysis and limb loss. These are horrendous, life-changing injuries for a child. Every community is affected by road death and injury at some stage.
  2. Many of these deaths and injuries will not hit the headlines, and only be reported in local press, so the problem is bigger than you may imagine; death on the road is the biggest killer of older children and young people in the UK.
  3. The UK has one of the worst child road death rates in Europe.
  4. It is particularly important to focus on road safety if you have busy fast roads in your community, or if you are based in an area with deprived families. Deprived children are much more likely to die on roads than more well-off children who have large gardens and cars.
  5. Poor road safety engineering (high speed limits, lack of cycle paths, lack of crossings) is one of the biggest causes of poor child health, because children and their parents choose, due to the danger, not to walk or cycle, and take the car instead.
  6. Boys are much more likely to die or be hurt than girls. They are more inclined to take risks on foot, bicycles, and when a novice driver.
  7. The older children get, the more at risk they become, as they gain independence. So road safety is not just a topic for young children.

Classroom teaching is more effective if combined with practical experiences and campaigning
Effective road safety learning involves three components: classroom teaching, roadside experiences and training and then, best of all, getting the children working within your community to campaign for road safety.

Effective road safety teaching needs to:

  • Build on existing knowledge, not preach
  • Require children to think for themselves
  • Be discussive and creative and related to real life

Children need to be taught their road safety ABC:

A is for awareness (traffic is dangerous and hurts people)
B is for behaviour (rules you must follow to stay safer)
C is for choice and community campaigning (how to make the safest choices and to help others make these choices too)

Under 8’s can be taught A and B from the age of two upwards. They can be taught rules and encouraged to follow them through practical training. However, under 8’s should never use roads without an adult, and adults should follow the Green Cross Code at all times when on foot with their children. Adults should, at all times, hold children’s hands or use reins with younger children because under 8’s:
-have difficulty judging speed and distance;
-are easily distracted and act on impulse;
-have difficulty understanding danger and death and are oriented around play;
-are small (so can’t see hazards) and are still developing eyesight and hearing;
-should never be allowed to walk near roads on their own for these reasons and more. -are carefree, not careless!

Over 8’s will have more ability to understand C, and make their own choices based on different options and assessment of risk. However, they need to have A and B re-emphasised to them because over 8’s:
-may walk on their own but make mistakes that can cost their lives because of lack of experience;
-are vulnerable to peer pressure from other children to make risky choices, such as running across a road.

The following sections list teaching topics within the road safety ABC.

A is for awareness: Traffic is dangerous and hurts people
You can teach, with increasing frankness as children get older, that:

  • Traffic hurts thousands of people every year.
  • People hurt by traffic are often killed and seriously injured. Injuries include paralysis and losing limbs. (Note: many children may think minor injuries such as breaking an arm are OK, or even fun, because it draws attention to them.)
  • Some people do dangerous things when walking or cycling, such as texting on their mobile while crossing a road. These people are more likely to be killed or hurt.
  • Some drivers break laws, which increases the chance of you being killed or hurt - for example, speeding, or driving when drunk. We have laws such as speed limits to stop people being killed or hurt in crashes, but some drivers break laws.

B is for behaviour: Rules you can follow to stay safe
Children need to be taught the language of road safety before they can understand the rules! For example, names of vehicles, names of street furniture such as pavements and kerbs, and an understanding of fast, slow, looking, listening and crossing. A well-educated reception age child should already have a grasp of fundamental road safety rules thanks to their parents. However, others may not have benefited from this care. Therefore, you will have to begin by checking that all children understand the following:

  • Pavements are for people; roads are for traffic.
  • Never go out near roads without a grown up. Hold their hand and don’t let go.
  • Stop at once if you are told. Never try to cross a road until you are told.
  • Never run or play near roads - play in a park or garden.
  • You can help grown ups look and listen for traffic.
  • Lollipop people, pelican crossings and zebra crossings help people cross the road. When a red man appears, it means you must stop.
  • You can wear bright clothes to be seen by traffic.
  • In a car, never undo your belt and don’t play with door handles or try to get out.

By the age of 5, children are ready to learn, in addition to the above:

  • The Crossing Code (find a safe place to cross, stop, look, listen, cross with care)
  • The safest places to cross: underpasses; footbridges; where there is a lollipop person; pelican and puffin crossings; zebra crossings.
  • In a car, only get out on the pavement side.
  • In a bus or coach or minibus, wear your seat belt if one is fitted. When getting off, never cross the road in front or behind the bus. Wait until it has pulled away so you can see in all directions.

By the age of 9 and upwads, depending on development, children are ready to explore:

  • Bereavement issues and the social and economic impacts of road crashes.
  • The responsibilities of drivers.
  • The dangers of giving in to peer pressure to take risks.

Read more about teaching older pupils further down.

C is for choice: How to make the safest choices and help others stay safe too
Under-8’s are ill-equipped to make their own choices. However, it is important that older children recognise their ability to make safe choices, recognise pressures they may come under to make dangerous choices and learn how to resist those pressures, and how to speak up for the safety of others too. Younger children can also be encouraged to think about choices, as long as they are not encouraged to make those choices on their own. All children can be encouraged to speak out against dangerous behaviour, such as children pushing each other into the road, or running across roads without looking, or drivers driving too fast, or people not doing up their seatbelts.

Teaching road safety to children and young people aged 11-20

Pupils aged 11-20 may initially think that road safety is for ‘babies’ and ‘boring’, but most young people have a lot to say about road safety and won’t find it boring as long as it’s taught well! In fact, effective road safety teaching with these age ranges enables you to explore challenging and worth-while areas, including:

  • Death and bereavement
  • Life-changing injuries (paralysis and brain injury) and how this affects people and their families
  • Taking responsibility for others in the context of good citizenship - particularly if we are driving
  • Our addiction to cars and how they affect communities
  • The battle of the sexes - differences in risk-taking behaviour among males and females
  • Alcohol and drugs - the rise in binge-driving and drug use among young people, linked with the issue of drink-driving
  • The power of adrenalin and testosterone to negate concerns for personal safety

There are a number of reasons that pupils may not initially be receptive to road safety teaching because of poor attitudes. For example, they may:

  1. Think they ‘know it all’ and road safety is for ‘babies’;
  2. Already be taking extreme risks on roads (for example, mucking about on foot on busy roads, driving without a licence or taking illegal drugs and driving);
  3. Feel invincible - road crashes happen to someone else, not them. They think their youth and fast reaction times will keep them out of trouble;
  4. Have a misunderstanding of the true extent of deaths and injuries on roads and just how at risk they are, particularly as young people.

On the positive side, young people are likely to:

  • Have witnessed risky behaviour on roads and grasp road safety issues easily as they deal with roads every day;
  • Have experienced, or heard of, someone in their community being hurt or killed in a road crash, and therefore understand that death and serious injury is a reality on roads.

Effective road safety teaching for this age range should:

  • Build on pupils’ existing knowledge, not preach;
  • Require pupils to think for themselves and conduct original research;
  • Be discussive and creative, and related to pupils’ real lives;
  • Involve real-life projects (such as devising and running a campaign to get parents and pupils to ‘belt up’) not just class-room learning;
  • Explore the dangers of risk-taking;
  • Explain clearly that road safety is about stopping deaths and life-long serious injuries and therefore it is crucial to take it seriously - particularly as these pupils are in the highest risk group for dying on roads.

Now plan your lessons!
Go back to Teaching resources for lesson ideas, downloads, web links and more advice.

Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire

ALeadsomAndrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, has been given a national road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for her work campaigning alongside a local bereaved family to improve young driver safety.

Rebecca Taylor, aged 18, from Northampton, died in September 2008, after she dropped her sister off at school. Rebecca was driving home along Northampton Road when she hit surface water on the road and lost control of her car. After narrowly missing two other vehicles, Rebecca clipped a curb and spun into the path of a car travelling the other way.

After her death, the family began campaigning for improvements to young driver safety, crash investigation and rural road safety, and they contacted Andrea to ask her to help promote these issues in Parliament.

The family first met with Andrea on 10 September 2010 at her advice surgery. It was the day after the second anniversary of Beccy's death and the family were understandably fragile. The Taylors had been disappointed by the results of the police investigation into their daughter's death and wanted to campaign to help prevent other families suffering tragedies. Following the meeting, Andrea wrote to then Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond, who arranged for the family to meet then Road Safety Minister Mike Penning in May 2011.

Andrea continued to work alongside Beccy's family, organising a meeting with new Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill in October 2013. They discussed the issue of young driver safety in greater detail and asked the government to implement a full system of 'graduated driver licensing' in its anticipated Green Paper on young drivers.

Graduated driver licensing is a system advocated by Brake that has been introduced in several other countries. It typically involves a minimum 12 month learning period, and restrictions in the first year after passing your test, such as a late night driving curfew, a ban on carrying young passengers and zero tolerance drink drive limit, to reduce exposure to risky situations. It is evidenced to reduce crashes and casualties involving young drivers, and is predicted to prevent 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries a year if implemented in the UK [1].

Inspired by the Taylor family, Andrea has pledged to continue to work hard to ensure their proposals are heard by government, and will continue to discuss the issue with ministers and campaign through the media.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "The suffering endured by Beccy's family is horrendous, and something no family should have to go through. Yet sadly, it is not uncommon. Young drivers are involved in a huge proportion of road crashes, and young people themselves are often the tragic victims. Andrea's efforts to champion this issue is commendable, and she has shown real determination in ensuring the Taylors are heard. Her support is further recognition of the compelling case for action on young driver safety, particularly reform of our licensing system. We are urging the government to act swiftly and decisively, by committing to a full system of graduated driver licensing, to prevent further needless loss of young lives."

Nicole Taylor, Beccy's mum said: "We honestly can't thank Andrea enough for her unwavering support and guidance over the past five years. That's why we're proud to nominate her for this award. We often think about what we could have done to equip Beccy more fully. She was a good driver, but inexperienced. Graduated driver licensing would help protect young, newly-qualified drivers as it tackles many of the common causes of young road deaths. With Andrea's support we will continue to campaign on young driver safety and ensure our proposals are heard."

Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire: "As an MP I am in a privileged position to be able to raise vital issues like the safety of young drivers and I am pleased to have been able to do so on behalf of the Taylors. I am delighted to accept this award from Brake and look forward to continuing to work with the Taylors to campaign to make our roads safer and prevent further tragedies involving young people."

End notes:
[1] Restricting young drivers, The University of Cardiff, 2010

 

Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter

AndrewGriffithsAndrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, has been given anational road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for his campaigns to reduce speed limits to improve safety on a number of roads in his constituency including theA38 andA50.

The A38 and A50 are both major arterial routes that run through Andrew’s constituency, and both have seen fatal crashes in recent months, along with a number of other collisions and near misses.

In September, Willington man James Clarke was killed on the A38 when his car broke down on the inside lane. He tried to push it on to the roadside verge to put it in a safe position, but was hit by a passing vehicle, suffering injuries from which he later died in hospital. In October, two men were killed and another seriously injured on the A50 in crashes involving HGVs.

Andrew has previouslysuccessfully campaigned to reduce the speed limit to 60mph on some parts of the A38, as well as closing risky gaps that allowed drivers to cut across the dual carriageway, following the deaths of two sisters on the road in 2012. Andrews wasrecognised by Brake for his campaign at the time.

Now, following the most recent casualties, Andrew is calling on the Highways Agency toextend the lower 60mph limit along the entire stretch of the A38 that runs through his constituency, as well ascalling for speed enforcement measures on the A50.

A multi-million pound engineering project is in the pipeline for the A50, but this could take years, and Andrew is keen to prevent further crashes before then. As well as seeking to prevent the devastating impact of road casualties on families and communities, Andrew recognises the economic benefits of improving road safety, as the succession of the crashes on the A38 and the A50 has had serious implications for local businesses in his constituency.

Andrews has already gathered thesupport of Staffordshire Police and Fire chiefs behind his campaign, and is optimistic about repeating thesuccess of his campaign in 2012.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“It is good to see Andrew keeping up his record of campaigning to make roads in his constituency safer, and we are pleased to recognise him as road safety parliamentarian of the month. Crashes like those happening with alarming regularity on the A38 and A50 have a devastating impact on families and communities, but they can be prevented. Reducing speed is proven to reduce casualties, so we are fully behind Andrew’s calls to reduce and enforce speed limits on these roads, and we urge everyone driving in the area to take the responsibility to slow down and look out for each other. We wish Andrew every success with his latest campaign.”

Accepting his award, Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, said: "I'm really pleased that my efforts to make the A50 and A38 safer have been recognised. This is the second time I have received the award and I'm really pleased my efforts have been recognised by the country's biggest road safety charity."

Be a Road Safety Superhero!

Road safety superheroTeam up with our Pledge Squad and dress up as your favourite superhero to help spread the message of safe driving across the globe, while raising vital funds for Brake. Whether you put on a character t-shirt or a full costume, with your support, we can create a world of zero deaths or serious injuries on our roads.

Our Road Safety Superhero days are a simple and fun way to raise funds for Brake. Get together with your friends, your classmates or your office and encourage everyone to dress up as their favourite superhero. Your donations will go a long way to help Brake campaign for safer roads and support families who have lost a loved one in a road crash. You can run a Road Safety Superhero Day at any point throughout the year. However, we do have a national Road Safety Superhero Day during Road Safety Week. This year's national Road Safety Superhero Day is Friday 23 November. 

Superhero register here 300x129Step one: Plan it

Choose a date to run your Road Safety Superhero day, and register online for your free resource pack by clicking above. The resource pack includes everything you will need to have fun in your office. Alternatively email superhero@brake.org.uk if you have any questions. Remind everyone the day before to come along dressed as their favourite superhero.

Step two: Do it

On the morning of your Road Safety Superhero day, encourage everyone to donate at least a pound for taking part. You could have a prize for the best outfit, or maybe a superhero parade in your office?

Step three: Share it

Take lots of photos and share them on social media. Make sure to tag Brake on Instagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #roadsafetysuperhero.

Step four: Donate it

You can pay any money raised to Brake by donating online or sending a cheque to Brake, PO Box 548, Huddersfield HD1 2XZ. Alternatively, you can pay by card over the phone by calling 01484 559909.

Bolton MP wins national road safety award for campaign to raise awareness of sleep apnoea

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Julie Hilling, MP for Bolton West, has been given a national road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for her campaign to improve awareness and diagnosis of sleep apnoea, a condition that puts drivers at risk of falling asleep at the wheel and causing devastating crashes.

Sleep apnoea disrupts sleep by causing the airways to repeatedly close, forcing the sufferer to wake up and gasp for breath, causing acute tiredness. It is thought to affect 1.5 million people in the UK, and is treatable but often not recognised [1] as sufferers often don't recall what's causing them to wake up repeatedly and feel tired.

Sufferers are up to seven times more likely to have road crashes [2], and therefore can pose a huge risk to their own and others' safety. Crashes caused by driver tiredness are thought to kill at least 300 people on UK roads every year [3].

Julie first became aware of sleep apnoea in early 2011, when she was a member of the Transport Select Committee, and was contacted by the parents of a young woman killed by a lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel. She discovered that her constituency, Bolton West, has particularly high rates of sleep apnoea. Since then, she has continually worked to raise awareness of the issue in Parliament.

Over the past few years, Julie has attended many events about tackling sleep apnoea, including a visit to the Sleep Apnoea Clinic in London. She has kept the issue on the parliamentary agenda with questions to the Department of Health.

On 2 September 2014, Julie secured an adjournment debate on sleep apnoea in parliament. In the debate, Julie called for the Department of Health to appoint a body to improve services for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnoea, with screening provided in areas where the condition is widespread, and fast-tracked treatment for at-work drivers who are at particular risk.

As a result of the debate, Health Minister Norman Lamb MP will be taking up the issue of sleep apnoea with relevant organisations to see how the government can improve its diagnosis and care. Julie plans to keep pressing the government to make sure this happens, to help prevent tired driver crashes.

Read more about sleep apnoea, its symptoms, risks and treatment at www.brake.org.uk/sleepapnoea

Brake campaigns for greater awareness of sleep apnoea and the dangers of driving tired through its wake up! campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #WakeUp

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Sleep apnoea is a huge issue for road safety, so we are pleased to give Julie this award for campaigning so persistently to improve its diagnosis and care. Hundreds of thousands of people may be unwittingly putting themselves and others at great risk on UK roads by driving with undiagnosed sleep apnoea – a condition that can be treated. We encourage Julie to keep the pressure up, and we hope the government will follow through on her recommendations, potentially making a vital contribution to reducing the horrific toll of tired driver crashes. We urge anyone who thinks they may suffer from the condition – which is often identifiable through disturbed sleep and snoring – to seek advice and treatment immediately. Whether you suffer from sleep apnoea or not, you should never get behind the wheel when tired."

Accepting her award, West Bolton MP Julie Hilling said: "Brake is a fantastic charity that does great work on road safety and I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen as their Parliamentarian of the Month. Sleep apnoea is a major problem for many of my constituents in Bolton West, causing many serious health issues as well as contributing to many road crashes. I will continue to work with Brake to ensure we get the services we need to help sleep apnoea suffers."

Notes for editors

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line
Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

End notes
[1] Obstructive sleep apnoea UK health economics report, British Lung Foundation, 2014
[2] Sleep Apnoea Trust www.sleep-apnoea-trust.org 
[3] Loughborough University Sleep Research Centre www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/hu/groups/sleep 

Brake backs European Day Without A Road Death

Tuesday 20 September
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, is asking all road users to play their part in the first “European Day Without A Road Death”, otherwise known as Project EDWARD, on Wednesday 21 September.

The project is supported by all 30 members of TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, and will highlight all the work being done by organisations to try and halve the number of road deaths in the EU by 2020.

It is hoped that Project EDWARD will encourage all road users to reflect on their behaviour and attitude, as this remains one of the most important barriers to lowering road deaths.

Brake, though, believes more can be done than just focusing on driver behaviour. Strong legislation and leadership from authorities and governments can play a much more vital part, for example the UK government bringing back casualty reduction targets, banning all mobile phone use in cars and introducing a zero tolerance drink-drive limit.

In 2015 1,732 people died on the roads in Great Britain and 22,137 more were seriously injured . A reintroduction of ambitious casualty reduction targets, axed in 2010, would be a key first step in an urgently needed fightback against road crashes, alongside a ‘vision zero’ approach that acknowledges that any road death is unacceptable.

There also needs to be more investment in safer systems to ensure that human error doesn’t cost lives, and that those who might wilfully endanger others through such acts as speeding and drink-driving are deterred by effective enforcement campaigns.

Alice Bailey, campaigns advisor for Brake, said: “Striving for zero road deaths is an ambitious but necessary long-term target. Preventable crashes tear apart families and communities and we should not accept any number. We must also acknowledge that the traffic causing these tragedies is a major contributor to carbon emissions, affecting the well-being and health of individuals and the planet. We should aspire to a world where governments, communities and companies work together to achieve zero road deaths and serious injuries, and streets that can be used without fear.”

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

More on Project Edward here: https://www.tispol.org/edward

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, servicesfor road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on Twitter, Facebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

 

Brake calls for compulsory rural driving lessons for learners

News from Brake
Wednesday 23 August, 2017

Road safety charity Brake is today calling for compulsory lessons on rural roads for learner drivers, as part of a graduated licensing system, to reduce fatalities and serious injuries.

In 2015, the last year for which statistics are available, 120 young drivers lost their lives in crashes - 80 per cent of these occurring on rural roads, 16 per cent on urban roads and four per cent on motorways[1].

Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "High speeds, sharp bends, narrow lanes, risky overtaking and the presence of vulnerable road users like cyclists, make rural roads the most dangerous by far. The combination of rural roads and novice drivers is lethal - a staggering 80 per cent of all young car driver fatalities occur in rural locations.

"Brake is calling for a total overhaul of the learning to drive system to help cut fatalities and injuries. A graduated licensing system, including a minimum learning period, mandatory training on rural roads and restrictions for newly-qualified drivers - such as a zero drink-drive limit - will allow new drivers to build up more skills and experience over a longer period of time.

"This approach has dramatically reduced road casualties in countries including Australia and New Zealand and could save some 400 lives a year if implemented in the UK.

"Brake is also calling for a review of rural speed limits and for 'Voluntary Intelligent Speed Adaptation', which helps drivers keep within the limit, to be fitted as standard to new cars. There is also the need for better and more affordable public transport, so fewer young people see starting driving in their teens as a necessity."

[Ends]

Notes to editors:

[1] Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Main Results 2015, Department for Transport.

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.

We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake calls on schools, communities and organisations to register now for Road Safety Week – and get free resources

28 March 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk

Schools, community groups, employers and professionals are being urged to get involved in Road Safety Week 2014 (17-23 November), the UK's biggest road safety event, to help make streets and communities safer. The charity Brake, which coordinates the event, is encouraging educators, professionals and community leaders to go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk to get ideas on promoting safer road use and campaigning for safer roads in the Week, and register online for a free e-action pack.

Road Safety Week, now in its 18th year and supported by headline sponsors RSA and Specsavers, is a great opportunity for groups and individuals to team up and take action on road safety, and run activities to raise awareness and prevent needless casualties.

Everyone can access ideas plus free electronic resources and guidance to help them get involved at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk. Anyone who registers to be part of the Week is emailed a free e-action pack with downloadable posters and advice and case studies of what others have done in previous years.

The Road Safety Week 2014 theme is 'look out for each other': raising awareness of the ways everyone can help protect one another on roads, especially the most vulnerable. Brake will particularly call on drivers to protect kids and adults on foot and bike by slowing down to 20 in communities and looking twice and taking it slow at junctions and bends. Read more. Participants in the Week can run an initiative on this theme or any other road safety topic.

Last year 7,795 community groups, schools and organisations registered to take part, running activities ranging from fundraisers, road safety workshops, to protests against fast traffic, to community speed checks, to poster design competitions, many in partnership with local authorities, emergency services, or other agencies.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, says: "Road safety is a critical issue for communities everywhere, so we're calling on schools, groups and organisations around the country to play their part in making streets safer. Road Safety Week is a perfect opportunity to take action on local road safety issues, by campaigning, raising awareness and making a difference – especially in relation to protecting the most vulnerable road users, like children. Our theme this year is 'look out for each other', calling on everyone to be considerate on roads, but especially calling on drivers to slow down and take care to protect people on foot and bike. Everyone can help get this vital message out, and make a big difference to their local community. Log on to the Road Safety Week website for ideas and inspiration, and to register for a free e-action pack to help you take part."

Read our press releases calling on specific groups to get involved:

Schools, colleges and nurseries
Employers and fleets
Emergency services
Road safety professionals
Families and communities
Runners and cyclists

Notes for editors

About Road Safety Week
Road Safety Week is the UK's flagship road safety event, coordinated annually by the charity Brake, and now in its 18th year. In 2014 it will take place 17-23 November, with headline sponsorship from RSA and Specsavers. Road Safety Week aims to raise awareness about the devastation of road crashes and casualties, and the part we can all play in making our roads and communities safer. It does this by encouraging grassroots involvement and promoting awareness-raising and educational messages. Each year it involves thousands of communities, schools, organisations and professionals across the UK running a wide range of road safety activities. www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk

About Brake
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

About RSA Group
With a 300 year heritage, RSA is one of the world's leading multinational quoted insurance groups. RSA has major operations in the UK, Scandinavia, Canada, Ireland, Asia and the Middle East, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe and has the capability to write business in around 140 countries. Focusing on general insurance, RSA has around 23,000 employees and, in 2013, its net written premiums were £8.7 billion

As a leading car insurer we have a natural interest in promoting safety awareness and reducing the number of crashes on our roads. In the UK we have been a partner of Brake since 2011 and we also undertake road safety campaigns in many of our businesses across the world.

About Specsavers

  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has more than 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand
  • Total revenue for the Specsavers Group was £1.7 billion in 2011/2012
  • More than 20 million customers used Specsavers globally in 2011/2012. As of end March 2012, Specsavers had 16,138,076 customers in the UK and 928,582 customers in the Republic of Ireland
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners. Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
  • Specsavers employs more than 30,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the eleventh year running by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey 2012
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers - 10,800,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2011
  • Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK
  • Specsavers sold more than 290 million contact lenses globally in 2011/12 and has more than a million customers on direct debit schemes. Specsavers' own contact lens brand - easyvision - is the most known on the high street
  • The hearcare business in the UK has established itself as the number one high street provider of adult audiology services to the NHS
  • Specsavers supports several UK charities including Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Sound Seekers, the road safety charity Brake, the anti-bullying charity Kidscape and Vision Aid Overseas, for whom stores have raised enough funds to build a school of optometry in Zambia and open eyecare outreach clinics in much of the country.

Brake comments as Britain’s road safety record stagnates

News from Brake
Thursday 27 September
 
Improvement in Britain’s road safety has stagnated, with the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads increasing marginally from 2016 - 2017, according to Government statistics published today [1].
 
Figures from the Department for Transport show that 1,793 people were killed in collisions last year,  the highest annual total since 2011 but with just one additional road death on 2016.
 
A total of 24,831 people were seriously injured last year - a rise of three per cent (from 24,101 in 2016), which has been attributed by the Government at least in part due to changes in the way many police forces now report collision data [1].
 
The figures also reveal that motorcyclists now make up 19% of all road deaths in Britain, up 9% on 2016 to 349 deaths, and pedestrian fatalities increased by 5% to 470.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
Today’s figures highlight the shocking lack of progress on road safety improvement in Britain. This stagnation must be arrested and yet the Government sits on its hands and rejects the introduction of policies which are proven to save lives - for the individuals, families and whole communities devastated by road crashes, this is simply not good enough.”
 
“Our most vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, remain at dangerously high risk on our roads, paying the price for the dominance of the motor car in our lives. Pedestrian deaths increased to their highest level this decade whilst motorcyclists now account for nearly a fifth of all road deaths, despite their small numbers. The Government must invest in active travel to give people safe and healthy ways to get around and focus on improving the safety of our roads – starting with lower speed limits.”
 
“Our laws are only as strong as their enforcement and roads policing is fundamental to improving UK road safety. Shockingly, the number of traffic officers fell 24% from 2012-2017 and the stagnation in road safety performance shadows this trend. We urge the Government to make roads policing a national investment priority, with a visible police presence catching and deterring illegal driving and cameras preventing the scourge of speeding.”
 
“Casualty reduction targets are a proven catalyst for road safety improvement and yet, since 2010, the UK Government has rejected this approach. With the UK’s deterioration in road safety showing no signs of abating, we urge the introduction of national road casualty reduction targets as a priority. The Government must have its feet held to the fire on road safety.”
 
[ENDS]
 
 
Notes to editors:
 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments as UK road safety progress stagnates

News from Brake
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
 
The UK is one of the EU countries making the slowest progress on reducing road deaths, according to a new report by the European Transport Safety Council [1].
 
The number of deaths on UK roads fell by just 6.4% between 2010 and 2017, contributing little towards the collective EU target of a 50% reduction in road deaths by 2020. Whilst the UK does have a strong road safety record, the only other EU countries making slower progress on road safety are Sweden, The Netherlands and Malta.
 
The report also highlights how the UK is one of the few EU countries to see the number of serious Injuries from crashes on the roads increase since 2010, with a 5.8% rise.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
 
“We take for granted that the UK has some of the safest roads in the EU but this report should act as a wake-up call to the Government. All road crashes are preventable tragedies and even one death or injury on the road is one too many. Progress on road safety in the UK has stagnated in recent years and urgent action is required to remedy this.
 
“The Government’s recent move to improve road collision investigation was long-awaited and much welcomed. It is vital that the strengthened roads collision investigation provides evidence which directly leads to improvements in policy. Only through in-depth investigation, at a national level, can solutions be found to stem the needless deaths on the roads every day.
 
“Brake also welcomed the EU Commission’s announcement of a new target for a 50% reduction in EU road deaths and serious injuries between 2020 and 2030 [2]. We urge the UK to follow the EU’s lead and implement national road safety targets, to reignite progress on road safety and strive towards a vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors:
 
 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments on dangerous driving conditions sweeping the UK

News from Brake
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
news@brake.org.uk
 
Heavy snow and ice has swept across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England making driving conditions extremely dangerous and stranding hundreds of people overnight.

Commenting on the situation, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “We urge caution for all road users and encourage drivers currently stranded on roads across the UK to follow the advice of local police and rescue services.
 
“Ice, snow and heavy rain significantly increase the risk of crashes on our roads, with stopping distances increasing up to ten-fold and poor visibility blinding drivers to upcoming hazards [1].
 
“For those yet to travel, we strongly urge that you avoid driving in these conditions and make alternate arrangements. If you must drive, be prepared, drive carefully and cautiously and be extra vigilant for people and hazards.”
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors:
 
 
Snow and ice: follow these tips if you get caught driving in snow and ice:
  • use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin, but taking care not to let your speed creep up.
  • brake gently to avoid locking the wheels. Get into a low gear earlier than normal and allow the speed of the vehicle to fall gradually.
  • take corners very slowly and steer gently and steadily to avoid skidding. Never brake if the vehicle skids, instead, ease off the accelerator and steer slightly into the direction of the skid until you gain control.
  • If stuck in snow, do not spin the wheels or rev the vehicle, as this will dig the vehicle further in. Instead, put the vehicle into as high a gear as possible and slowly manoeuvre the vehicle lightly forwards and backwards to gently creep out.
  • if you are stuck fast, stay in the vehicle unless help is visible within 100 yards. Do not abandon your vehicle as this can hold up rescue vehicles.
 
About Brake
 
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
 
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
 
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments on new drink driving figures

News from Brake
Thursday 3 August, 2017
news@brake.org.uk

Two hundred people were killed in car crashes in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink drive limit, according to new Department for Transport figures. While the number of people killed in drink drive related collisions fell in 2015, the numbers killed and seriously injured, as well as  drink drive collisions, both rose [1].

Commenting on the new figures, Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Selfish drink drivers destroy lives and inflict appalling suffering on families up and down the country. There will be more, unrecorded, casualties involving drivers impaired by alcohol but under the current limit.

"The drink drive limit in England and Wales is the second highest in Europe and must be lowered urgently. In addition, savage cuts to road traffic policing must be reversed and enforcement increased to crack down on dangerous drink drivers."

[ENDS]

Notes to editors:

[1] 1,370 people were estimated to have been killed or seriously injured in drink drive crashes in 2015 in England and Wales. The estimated total number of crashes where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit rose by 2 per cent to 5,730 in 2015. Full DfT report: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/635345/road-accidents-illegal-alcohol-levels-2015-final.pdf

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.

We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments on reported improvement in Scottish road safety

News from Brake
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
 
Transport Scotland has released provisional headline figures for road casualties reported to the police in Scotland in 2017 [1].
 
There was a total of 9,391 road casualties reported in Scotland 2017, 1,514 or 14% fewer than 2016 and the lowest number of casualties since records began in 1950.
  • 146 fatalities: 45 (or 24%) less than 2016
  • 1,580 seriously injured: 119 (or 7%) less than 2016
  • 7,665 slightly injured: 1,350 (or 15%) fewer than 2016

Commenting on the figures, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:

“These figures show encouraging progress in the safety of Scottish roads and this trend should hearten all road safety campaigners. Any reduction in casualties is to be welcomed, however, tragically 33 people are still killed or seriously injured on Scottish roads every week, so our work is far from done.”
 
“We urge the Government to build on this momentum and implement policies which will trigger the next step-change in road safety. We need safer speeds in towns and rural areas, we need Graduated Driver Licensing to protect novice drivers and we need far greater investment in cycling and walking infrastructure.”
 
“Brake’s vision is a world of zero road deaths and serious injuries and this can only be delivered through strong and bold leadership. Every road crash is preventable, tragic and causes devastation to the families of those affected. We owe it to them to ensure we learn from the lessons of the past and eliminate the tragedy of road death.”
 
[ENDS]
 
 
Notes to editors:
 
 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
 
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments on research that shows driving is seen as a greater threat than gun and knife crime for young people

News from Brake
Monday 23 July 2018
 
Research published today by the AA charitable trust shows that driving is now seen as a bigger threat to teenagers’ safety than gun and knife crime. When asked ‘What do you think is the greatest risk to the safety of teenagers?’ 17% of people answered with driving compared to just 11% ten years ago. Whilst the number of people who saw gun and knife crime as the biggest threat fell from 25% ten years ago to just 16% today.
 
Brake, the road safety charity, has long campaigned to tackle the issue of young drivers’ safety and is calling on the Government to implement a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system to end the tragedy of young driver death on our roads. Brake recommends that such a system should include a 12-month learner period, an initial test, and then a probationary period when drivers can drive independently but with restrictions – such as a late-night driving curfew.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
“With the perception of the dangers facing young drivers finally catching up to the reality, it is clear that the Government must take decisive action in order to protect young lives. 25 young drivers are killed or seriously injured on our roads every week and yet there is a proven solution which can prevent this, Graduated Driver Licencing.”
 
“Graduated Driver Licensing is proven to work and has public and parliamentary backing. We urge the Government to introduce this safer licensing system as a matter of priority; for far too long,  young lives have been ruined and lost on our roads.”
 
[ENDS]
 

Notes to editors:

Full release by the AA is below:

Driving rises up risk table for teenagers

  • Driving now seen as greater threat than gun and knife crime, according to the AA Charitable Trust
  • 10 years ago gun and knife crime was viewed as more dangerous than driving
  • AA Charitable Trust celebrating 10 years of award-winning road safety courses and campaigns
  • £20,000 worth of motorway driving courses available for free

Driving is now seen as a bigger threat to teenagers than gun and knife crime, according to research from the AA Charitable Trust on its tenth anniversary.

In the last ten years there has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of people who think driving represents the greatest threat to teenage safety, rising from 11 per cent to 17 per cent.

This means it has risen above gun and knife crime in people’s perception of dangers to young people (which has dropped from 25% to 16%).

Drugs have remained at the top of the list (rising 31% to 39%), with drinking taking second place (dropped 25% to 19%).

What do you think is the greatest risk to the safety of teenagers?

 

10 years ago*

5 years ago**

Today***

Drugs

31%

35%

39%

Drinking

25%

28%

19%

Driving

11%

15%

17%

Gun and knife crime

25%

13%

16%

 

Brake criticises first motorway pub as a dangerous temptation

21 January 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

In response to news of a pub opening at a motorway service station in Buckinghamshire today, Ellie Pearson, Brake spokesperson, said:

"The opening of a pub on a motorway is deeply concerning, as it presents a potentially deadly temptation to drivers. Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our road, causing devastation to families and communities every day. It is vitally important that messages about the dangers of drink driving are as strong and clear as possible, so drivers know it's not okay to have even a single drink ahead of getting behind the wheel. Research clearly shows that even small amounts of alcohol can be lethal if you're driving, so our advice to drivers is simple: never drink any alcohol if you're driving – not a drop."

Read about Brake's Not a drop, not a drag campaign.

Brake
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.