Articles Tagged ‘winter - Brake the road safety charity’

Almost three quarters of drivers take life-threatening risks on icy roads

News from Brake
Immediate issue: 8 January 2016 

news@brake.org.uk

  • Seven in ten (71%) drivers surveyed have dangerously poor knowledge when it comes to winter stopping distances
  • Two thirds (66%) of drivers believe others do not leave enough space to stop safely
  • More than half of drivers questioned (54%) think other drivers travel too fast in poor weather conditions

As the weather is forecast to turn colder and snow predicted in many parts of the UK next week, a new study is highlighting the risks too many drivers are taking in bad weather. The survey released today (8 January 2016), carried out on behalf of Brake and Direct Line, reveals 71% of drivers questioned do not know how much longer it will take their vehicle to stop in icy conditions. This means they could be putting other road users, and themselves, at risk by under-estimating the distance. 

11% of drivers think the stopping distance is twice as long in icy weather, a third think it’s four times as long and 27% think it should be five times as long. Just 23% of drivers know that the actual figure is up to 10 times as long, with 6% being even more cautious and believing it is up to 20 times as long.    

That means, while on a fine day, if you are driving at 30 mph and need to brake immediately it will take you 23 metres to stop, in icy conditions it could take up to 230 metres - that’s the length of two-full size football pitches [i]and, of course, the faster you are travelling, the further that distance could be. 

Many drivers also do not know enough about stopping distances in wet weather.

More than one in five drivers (22%) fail to check the gap between their car and the car in front, and another fifth (21%) do not leave a large enough gap, meaning that, if they have to brake suddenly, it could lead to a serious crash. Brake recommends that drivers leave at least four seconds between their vehicle and the vehicle in front in wet weather.

More than half of drivers questioned (54%) think that other drivers travel too fast in poor weather conditions, and two thirds (66%) believe other drivers do not leave enough space to stop.

This is why Brake and Direct Line are encouraging drivers to adjust their driving style to the conditions of the road as temperatures drop, and sleet, snow, frost and ice are all forecast.   

Gary Rae, campaigns and communications director for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Our roads are at their most dangerous during the winter months, so drivers must be at their most cautious. We don’t want any more families to be torn apart by crashes caused by drivers not adapting to the conditions. Ice, snow, heavy rain and fog make driving incredibly risky; stopping distances double in wet weather and can increase up to ten-fold in ice and snow. If snow is forecast, we urge people to think about whether their journey is necessary, but if you get caught out driving in bad weather the critical thing is to slow right down and keep your distance, bearing in mind it will take you much longer to stop in an emergency, and to react in the first place, if visibility is reduced.

Rob Miles, director of motor trading at Direct Line, said: “Even if you feel confident driving in icy or snowy conditions, others may not be able to keep full control of their car and may not be observing the correct stopping distances. If you need to drive, make sure that you take it slow and steady and don’t panic or slam on the brakes. Also, make sure you’ve de-iced your car fully before you drive off as restricted views out of the windows cause needless and preventable accidents. If it’s not safe or you feel too nervous, don’t make the journey.

Case study

Sheila Quinn lost her 24-year-old son Paul Dobson in a bad weather crash in December 2007. He was one of four passengers in a car when the driver lost control on an icy road. Two of the passengers died, and the driver received a five-and-a-half-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving.

Sheila said: “It’s shocking that people are still not aware of how to drive safely in winter despite messages going out each year. A few moments of showing off can leave families like ours with a lifetime of pain. Living every day without Paul is a struggle. My heart sinks when I’m in my car and I see drivers far too close to each other and continuing to tail gate in poor weather conditions. My younger son is now 18 and not yet driving but does now go out with his friends in cars and it’s so frightening. I would urge all drivers to slow right down and take extra care in bad weather, so no more lives are ruined. I would hate any other family to go through what we have been through and are still going through. It’s a life sentence and it doesn’t get easier."

Audio of Sheila’s story available on request. 

THE FACTS: Winter driving

•           In wet weather, stopping distances more than double. On top of this, the rain and spray from other vehicles make it harder to see hazards.

•           In icy or snowy weather, stopping distances can be 10 times greater. Even if you think roads have been treated, it’s essential to drive slowly and keep well back from other road users.

•           The responsibility for clearing the snow and gritting most roads, including local streets, falls to the local highway authority. However, given financial and resource pressures it is not possible for all roads to be treated. Around 40% of roads are gritted. This means a driver can never assume that a road has been gritted.

ADVICE FOR DRIVERS: The A,B,C of winter driving

•           AVOID driving in snow and other treacherous conditions. Never set off when it’s snowing or forecast to, and avoid driving if you possibly can in other bad conditions like fog, heavy rain and ice. Consider alternatives such as walking or public transport if available. If you drive to work, speak to your employer about working from home when weather is very bad, especially if you live in a rural area prone to snow or floods.

•          BE PREPARED. Make sure your vehicle is well maintained, and tyres have a tread depth of at least 3mm. Check forecasts and plan your route to avoid roads likely to be more risky and allow plenty of time. Pack a winter driving kit in case you’re caught out. This should include: an ice scraper or de-icer; torch; cloths; a blanket and warm clothes; food and drink; first-aid kit; spade; warning triangle; and high-visibility vest. Always take a fully charged phone in case of emergencies, but never use it when driving.

•           CAREFUL AND CAUTIOUS DRIVING. If you do get caught driving in bad conditions, you need to slow right down increase the distance behind the vehicle in front. In rain your stopping distance doubles, so keep a four second gap. In snow or icy conditions stopping distances increase by as much as 10 times so you need to drop right back. Keep a careful look out for people on foot and bikes who may be harder to spot. Avoid harsh braking and acceleration and carry out manoeuvres slowly and with extra care. 

NOTES TO EDITORS

ABOUT THE REPORT

The survey consisted of 1,000 drivers and was conducted by Surveygoo

FULL SURVEY RESULTS

Q1: Do you drive when there is snow or you expect it to snow?

  • 10% said, “No, I avoid driving in snow”.
  • 13% said, “Yes, but only if it's the only viable transport option”.
  • 12% said, “Yes, but only in an emergency”.
  • 29% said, “Yes, but only in light snow”.
  • 36% said, “Yes, I will drive in snow”.

The risks of driving increase in winter weather, particularly in icy or snowy weather. The Highway Code is clear that drivers should not drive in these conditions unless the journey is essential.

Q2: Do you think drivers reduce their speed enough for safety in poor weather conditions such as ice, snow, fog or heavy rain?

  • 54% said, “No, most drivers drive too fast in poor weather”.
  • 46% said, “Yes, most drivers slow down enough for safety”.

Most drivers (54%) believe that other drivers go too fast in poor weather. Older drivers, who are more likely to have more experience driving, are more prone to think that others are driving too fast.

Q3: Do you think drivers leave enough space between them and the vehicle in front in poor weather conditions such as ice, snow, fog or heavy rain?

  • 66% say “No, most drivers travel too close”
  • 34% say “Yes, most drivers leave enough space.”

Two-thirds of drivers (66%) think that most drivers travel too close to the vehicle in front in poor weather. Older drivers, more likely to be more experienced on roads, are more likely to feel that other drivers are not leaving enough space to be safe, with 85% of drivers over 65 reporting this view.

Q4: How many seconds do you leave between your vehicle and the vehicle in front in wet weather?

  • 1% say at least one second
  • 6% say at least two seconds
  • 14% say at least three seconds
  • 19% say at least four seconds
  • 38% say at least five seconds
  • 22% say that they don’t usually count a gap behind the vehicle in front

Brake recommends that drivers leave four seconds between their vehicle and the vehicle in front in wet weather. More than one in five drivers (22%) fail to check their gap, and another fifth (21%) do not leave a large enough gap, meaning that, if they have to brake suddenly, it could lead to a serious crash.

Q5: How much do you think stopping distances increase in icy conditions?

  • 11% say twice as long
  • 33% say four times as long
  • 27% say five times as long
  • 23% say 10 times as long
  • 6% say 20 times as long

In icy conditions, stopping distances are up to ten times as long as in dry conditions. Only a quarter of drivers (23%) know this, with the majority under-estimating the distance, meaning that many drivers may be unwittingly putting themselves and other road users at risk in icy conditions.

DRIVER ADVICE

http://www.brake.org.uk/info-and-resources/facts-advice-research/road-safety-advice/21-facts-a-resources/resources/946-weather

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 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. 

About 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 U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K 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 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

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 welcomes fall in Xmas drink driving but renews call for zero tolerance

24 January 2014

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

Brake, the road safety charity, has praised police for their increased efforts to catch drink and drug drivers over the festive period and welcomed news that drink drive arrests were down while breath-tests were up.

6,550 people were arrested in the month-long police enforcement campaign over Christmas and New Year, 573 less than during the same period last year, according to figures released by the Association of Chief Police Officers today.

The drop in arrests comes despite a welcome increase in enforcement activity over the period, with 191,040 breath tests conducted, up from 175,831 in 2012. 3.4% of those tested failed or refused the test, down from 4% in 2012. Drink driving also fell among young people, with 4.4% of under 25s failing the test, down from 5.3% in 2012.

However, Brake warns there is still a long way to go to completely stamp out the menace of drink and drug driving throughout the year. According to a recent Brake survey, many drivers are continuing to take the deadly risk of driving after drinking [1], and many who pass the breath test could still be unsafe to drive due to the UK's high drink drive limit. Hence Brake is renewing its calls for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg per 100 ml blood. See calls for government action below.

Brake is also urging the government to give greater priority to traffic policing and ensure sufficient resourcing is available for vital drink and drug driving enforcement, following significant cuts in recent years [2].

Brake urges all drivers never to drink any alcohol or take any drugs before driving: not a drop, not a drag. See Brake's advice below.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "It is encouraging to see an increase in vital drink drive enforcement over the festive period and fewer arrests. However drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our roads and we have some way to go before we persuade all drivers to commit to never driving after drinking. People who persist in drink driving needlessly put the lives of others at grave risk and too often cause crashes that devastate families and communities, all for the sake of a drink. The police do great work catching these irresponsible drivers, but the government needs to give them the backing they need to do their job, by making traffic policing a national priority and adopting a zero tolerance limit. The message needs to be clear: it should be none for the road."

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

Facts
One in six deaths on UK roads are caused by drink drivers over the current legal limit [3], but drivers with even 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol in their blood [4]. This is because even small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times, judgment and co-ordination. Alcohol also makes it impossible for drivers to assess their own impairment because it creates a false sense of confidence and means drivers are more inclined to take risks and believe they are in control when they are not [5].

Brake's advice
Even very small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times and hazard perception, making them much more likely to crash. This is the case even if the driver doesn't feel drunk or even tipsy. So the only way to ensure you're safe if you're driving this festive season is not drink any alcohol before driving, and never drive the morning after having more than one or two drinks. And as a passenger, only accept a lift with a driver who's had no alcohol at all.

Planning ahead to get home safely will help you avoid getting into an awkward or risky situation, such as having to refuse a lift from a driver who has had alcohol. If you're getting a lift back from a night out with someone, make sure they are 100% on board with not having any alcohol at all. Always have a plan B just in case a designated driver lets you down, or arrange from the outset to get a taxi or public transport instead.

Calls for government action
Brake calls for a zero tolerance limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, to send a clear message that it should be none for the road. This allows for naturally occurring alcohol in the body, and is a limit set by numerous other countries including Sweden, Poland and Greece. The EU recommends a limit of no more than 50mg, and within the EU only Malta shares the UK's limit of 80mg alcohol. Governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have announced intentions to reduce their limits to 50mg alcohol per 100ml blood. In Northern Ireland, newly qualified drivers and commercial drivers will have a zero tolerance limit of 20mg.

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.

End notes
[1] Christmas party-goers urged to help save lives by standing up to 'designated drivers' who drink, as survey shows we're still too timid, Brake, 10 December 2013
[2] Huge roads policing cuts put public at risk, warns charity, Brake, 23 January 2012
[3] Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2012 Annual Report, Department for Transport, 2013
[4] National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010. Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
[5] ibid

BriteAngle & Brake

Lighting the way to safer roads this winter

BriteAngle banner

RSD logo low quality

BriteAngle came on board as headline sponsors of Brake's Road Safety Week 2017. A subsidiary of Road Safety Designs Ltd, BriteAngle want to make the world’s roads safer, which is why they design, develop and produce innovative new road safety products in the UK. 

With winter on our doorsteps, Stephen Wornham, Managing Director of Road Safety Designs and creator of BriteAngle, looks at how slowing down in the winter months can help keep drivers and other motorists safe.

As the longer winter nights start to make an appearance, road safety becomes an ever-increasing issue. As the winter hits, visibility on the roads becomes reduced due to wet weather conditions and longer, darker nights.

Under these conditions, stopping distances increase and spotting a hazard becomes more difficult. This means that stopping at the side of the road because of a breakdown, flat tyre or for any other reason is even more dangerous.

There are some things that motorists who stop at the side of the road can do to reduce the risk to themselves and other road users. Putting hazard lights on, turning the engine off, and standing as far away from the road as possible, will help to keep occupants of the stopped vehicle safe.

According to rule 126 of The Highway Code, motorists should also place a warning triangle 45 metres away from their vehicle in the event of a breakdown or accident,.. This advice should be adhered to warily, however, as it may not be safe to walk 45 metres down the road from your car, for example, conventional warning triangles should also not be used on motorways.

Motorists could consider a number of innovative new road safety products, such as our own BriteAngle, a revolutionised warning triangle. BriteAngle’s flashing, high-intensity LEDs allow a hazard to be seen from up to 300 metres away, meaning motorists can set it up behind their vehicle, vastly increasing the warning to approaching vehicles.

However, the most effective thing motorists can do to reduce risk of collision with a stationary vehicle is to simply slow down. That’s why we’re supporting this year’s Road Safety Week and its theme, Speed Down, Save Lives. We hope motorists across the country will pledge to stay within speed limits and slow down to less than 20mph around schools, homes and shops, to protect all road users.

Changing the clocks

The way the clocks are set in the UK means for much of the year, most of us waste daylight in the early mornings while we're asleep, and then have to make our way home in the dark in the evening.

In the UK, clocks follow Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from October to March, and British Summer Time (BST), which is GMT + 1, from March to October. This means Britain is out of step with most European countries, which follow Central European Time (CET), which is always one hour ahead of the UK. It also means that in winter, it gets dark as early as 3.30pm in some parts of the UK [1].

Why are darker evenings dangerous?

During the week, casualty rates peak between 5pm-6pm for adults, and 3.30pm-4.30pm for children. There is another peak in the morning, 8-9am, but the afternoon peak is higher for all ages [2]. These times coincide with the morning and evening rush hours and school runs, which are already dangerous due to the volume of traffic, and even more so in the winter months when the evening journeys are made in the dark.

Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings and poor weather. For example, in 2013 there were more than twice as many pedestrian deaths in December as in June [3]. It has been observed that each year from when the clocks go back in October, the peak in evening road casualties shifts so it falls in the hour after sunset [4]. Research has also found that serious and fatal pedestrian collisions increase 10% in the four weeks after the clocks go back [5].

There are several reasons for the increase in casualties in the darker winter evenings. First, pedestrians and cyclists, road signs, and other road users are simply harder to spot. Drivers also tend to be more tired after a day’s work, so concentration levels are lower in the evenings than in the mornings [6]. Finally, both children and adults tend to make social or leisure trips in the evening [7] (such as visiting friends, or children taking part in after-school activities), so in winter have to make these journeys after dark.

Take action: Make the Brake Pledge to minimise the amount you drive, or not drive at all, and get about by walking, cycling or public transport as much as possible, for road safety, the environment and your health.

How should the clocks be changed?

Brake is calling for the UK to change to Single/Double British Summertime (SDST), adjusting the clocks to GMT+1 in the winter, and GMT+2 in the summer. This would result in darker mornings but an extra hour of evening daylight throughout the year.

It is estimated this would prevent 80 deaths and more than 200 serious injuries on UK roads every year. The initial, one-off cost of making and publicising the change is estimated at about £5 million, which would be more than offset by the benefits of the change, amounting to £138 million per year [8]. Analysis has projected a net benefit of £2.5 billion over 20 years, from reduced casualties [9].

As well as reducing casualties, SDST would deliver a range of other benefits, to the environment, health and tourism:

  • Environment: switching to SDST would reduce CO2 pollution by at least 447,000 tonnes each year, due to reduced electricity demand for artificial light in the evenings [10].
  • Health: Longer evenings would encourage more people to be active, using the extra daylight hours for outdoor leisure and sporting activity [11]. Daylight is also known to reduce depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) [12].
  • Tourism: SDLT would allow an extended tourism season and longer summer opening hours of tourist facilities, boosting the UK tourism industry by £1bn every year [13].

Previous trials

From 1968 to 1971, the UK ran an experiment in which British Summer Time (GMT+1) was employed all year round. The clocks were put forward as usual in March 1968 and not put back until October 1971. 

Analysis of crash data [14] during this period showed that keeping BST during the winter months resulted in an 11% reduction in casualties in England and Wales during the hours affected by the time change. In Scotland, there was a 17% reduction in casualties. Although casualties in the morning increased slightly, the decrease in casualties in the evening more than outweighed this.

Overall, about 2,500 fewer people were killed or seriously injured during the first two winters of the experiment. The experiment coincided with the introduction of roadside breath tests and the 70mph speed limit, which may have also had an impact on the casualty reduction figures.

Despite the reduction in casualties, continuation of BST past the trial period was blocked by a vote in the House of Commons. The opposition was due to the small rise in early morning casualties (despite these being outweighed by the huge reduction in evening casualties), and concern over disruption to early-morning workers such as farmers and postal workers.

In 1989, researchers analysed casualty data from winter 1969/70, in the middle of the experimental period, and concluded that BST had resulted in 232 fewer deaths and serious injuries and 2,342 fewer overall casualties during that one winter, taking into account wider trends and other road safety factors like roadside breath testing. The study concluded that BST was effective in reducing casualties, particularly among children, pedestrians, and people in central England and southern Scotland [15].

Why not change to SDST?

In previous years, a move to SDST has been opposed on the grounds that it would disrupt industries that operate in the early hours of the morning, such as farming, milk delivery, and postal workers. However, there is increasing evidence that these objections are less relevant. For example, post deliveries now take place later in the day than when the 1968/71 experiment took place, and are usually staggered throughout the day [16]. Modern farming methods have reduced the impact on farmers, with many (including the National Farmers’ Union for Scotland [17], who previously opposed the change) now neutral or positive about a move to SDST.

There has also been opposition to the change from Scotland, due to a mistaken impression from misleading reports that the 1968/71 experiment increased casualties, and a perception that the change would only benefit England. This is untrue: the reduction in casualties during the 1968/71 experiment was greater in Scotland than in England and Wales. Due to its shorter daylight hours to begin with, Scotland would benefit disproportionately in safety, economic, health and all other measurable areas compared with England and Wales [18].


[1] Sunrise/set times for the United Kingdom, HM Nautical Almanac Office, 2014

[2] Single Double British Summertime Factsheet, RoSPA, 2013

[3] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014, table RAS30020

[4] Daylight hours, Road Safety Observatory, 2012

[5] Improving Road Safety for Pedestrians and Cyclists in Great Britain, National Audit Office, 2009

[6] Fatigue and Road Safety: A Critical Analysis of Recent Evidence, Department for Transport, 2011

[7] Single Double British Summertime Factsheet, RoSPA, 2013

[8] A Safer Way: Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World, Department for Transport consultation paper, 2009

[9] Policy briefing – single/double summertime, Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, 2010

[10] Daylight saving, electricity demand and emissions: the British Case. In: The Future of Electricity Demand, Customers, Citizens and Loads, Cambridge University Press, 2011

[11] Daylight Saving Survey, YouGov, 2009

[12] Single Double British Summertime Factsheet, RoSPA, 2013

[13] The likely impact on tourist activity in the UK of the adoption of DST, Policy Studies Institute, 2008

[14] Review of British Standard Time, Home Office, 1970

[15] The potential effects on road casualties of Double British Summer Time, Transport Research Laboratory, 1989

[16] Why do I receive my mail at different times? Royal Mail, undated

[17] “We're not against moving clocks forward an hour, say Scottish farmers, The Guardian, 2010

[18] Single Double British Summertime Factsheet, RoSPA, 2013


Page last updated: September 2014

Darker evenings spell danger for road safety

News from Brake
Thursday 25 October 2018
 
With the end of British Summer Time (BST) bringing in darker evenings, Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the Government to commit to moving to Single/Double Summer Time (SDST) to help save lives on the road. 
 
SDST would move our clocks forward an additional hour all year round and so would create lighter evenings, allowing many road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians, to take advantage of the benefits of natural light to remain safe and be seen during evening rush hours. Lighter winter evenings could also have life-saving implications - the number of pedestrians killed jumped from 46 in October 2017 to 63 in November 2017, the first month after the clocks went back, a consistent trend over recent years [1]. 
 
Studies have found that moving the clocks to an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1) in winter, and two hours ahead (GMT+2) in summer, would prevent 80 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries on UK roads every year [2,3]. There are also significant environmental benefits to be gained from implementing SDST as it has been estimated that the switch would reduce CO2 pollution by up to 447,000 tonnes each year [4].
 
Commenting Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
“With summer time ending, and the nights closing in, the danger facing cyclists and pedestrians on our roads increases. At a time when the UK is struggling to move the dial on road safety, a move to SDST offers a glaringly simple and effective way to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads and so must be considered seriously by the Government. Lighter evenings can bring so many benefits, not only to road safety but through reducing carbon emissions and encouraging more people to be active and use the extra daylight for outdoor leisure activity – it really is a win-win for the Government.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors:
 
[4] Yu-Foong Chong, Elizabeth Garnsey, Simon Hill and Frederic Desobry “Daylight Saving, Electricity Demand and Emissions; Exploratory Studies from Great Britain”, October 2009
 
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 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.
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.

Driver advice: winter and bad weather driving

Drivers can pledge to– slow right down in bad weather and avoid driving at all if possible.

Weather can be unpredictable and turn quickly, making roads treacherous. Ice, snow, heavy rain and fog significantly increase the risks on roads. Stopping distances can double in the wet and increase ten-fold in ice and snow, and if you can’t see clearly, you can’t react to hazards. Driving in bad weather can be lethal.

Brake urges drivers to follow the A, B, C of staying safe in winter and bad weather conditions.

Avoid driving

If possible, avoid driving in snow and other treacherous conditions. Never set off when it's snowing heavily or if it’s forecast to snow, and avoid driving if you possibly can in other bad conditions like fog, heavy rain and ice. Consider alternatives like public transport. If you drive to work, speak to your employer in advance about home-working arrangements when the weather is bad, especially if you live in a rural area prone to flooding or snow.

Be prepared

Even if you avoid setting off in dangerous weather conditions, you could get caught out, so be prepared by:

  • ensuring your vehicle is well-maintained through an up-to-date MOT, regular service, and regular walk-round checks by you.
  • regularly checking tyres to ensure they’re in good condition and have a tread depth of at least 3mm to be safe in the wet.
  • making sure there is anti-freeze in your radiator and windscreen washer bottle. tyres
  • keeping an ice-scraper and de-icer in your vehicle at all times in winter.
  • packing a winter driving kit in case of emergency. This might include: a torch; cloths; a blanket and warm clothes; food and drink; first-aid kit; spade; warning triangle; and high-visibility vest.
  • always take a well-charged phone in case of emergencies, but don't be tempted to use it when driving.

Car batteries are more likely to die in winter, so take steps to ensure yours doesn’t. If your car battery is old (more than five years) or there is sign of it struggling to start the car, get it checked by your garage and replaced if needed.

Clear ice, snow and condensation completely from your windscreen and all windows before setting off. Clear snow off the roof of your vehicle too, as it might fall and obscure your vision during your journey.

Check forecasts and plan your route carefully. In bad weather, major roads are more likely to be cleared and gritted. Allow plenty of time for potential hold-ups. The Met Office provides up to date forecasts, and issues warnings when severe weather is likely.

Careful, cautious driving

If you do get caught in bad weather, follow these steps to minimise the dangers.

Slow right down: if visibility is poor or the road is wet or icy, it will take you longer to react to hazards and you should reduce your speed accordingly. Take corners very slowly, and reduce speed further if your view of the road ahead is obscured. Always stay well within the speed limit and look out for temporary speed limit signs. Never speed up suddenly if fog seems to have cleared. Fog can be patchy and you may suddenly re-enter it.

Maintain a safe gap behind the vehicle in front: the gap between you and the vehicle in front is your braking space in a crisis. In wet conditions you should leave four seconds, and in ice or snow, drop right back as much as possible. Stopping distances are double in the wet, and can be 10 times greater in icy weather. Never hang on someone else's tail lights. This can provide a false sense of security and mean you're not fully focussed on the road.

Be extra vigilant for people and hazards: be aware that people on foot, bicycles, motorbikes and horses are harder to spot in adverse weather. Drive slowly and cautiously so you are able to spot vulnerable road users in plenty of time and not put them in danger. Look out for signs warning of hazards, people, adverse conditions or temporary lower speed limits.

Stay in control: avoid harsh braking and acceleration, and carry out manoeuvres very slowly and with extra care.Snow Car

Use lights: put lights on in gloomy weather and when visibility is reduced. Use front and rear fog lights in dense fog. Remember to switch off fog lights when visibility improves.

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.

Rain and floods: follow these tips if you get caught driving in heavy rain and floods:

  • keep well back from the vehicle in front as the rain and spray makes it difficult to see and be seen.
  • look out for steering becoming unresponsive, which can happen if water prevents the tyres from gripping. If this occurs, ease off the accelerator and gradually slow down. If possible, pull over somewhere safe until the rain stops and the water drains away.Puddle
  • never attempt to cross a flooded road if you are unsure how deep it is; only cross if you can see the road through the water. Apart from potential damage, many vehicles require only two feet of water to float.
  • if driving on a flooded road, stay in first gear with the engine speed high and drive very slowly. Do not drive through floodwater if a vehicle is coming the other way. If possible, drive in the middle of the road to avoid deeper water near the kerb.
  • test brakes immediately after driving through water by driving slowly over a flat surface and pressing the brakes gently. Warn passengers first.

In high winds: take extra care passing over bridges or on open stretches of road exposed to strong winds. If your vehicle is being blown about, slow right down and take great care to maintain a steady course. Keep well back from motorcycles and high-sided vehicles as they can be particularly affected by turbulence.

In winter sun: dazzle from low winter sun can be dangerous. Keep a pair of sunglasses in the vehicle all year round (prescription if needed) and keep your windscreen clean. Wear your sunglasses in bright sunshine, especially if the sun is low or reflecting off a wet road.

Gritted roads: Highways England is responsible for keeping England's motorways and major 'A' roads clear of ice and snow. Local road networks are the responsibility of local authorities. In some cases there may be a lag before roads are treated, so never assume that roads have been gritted.

  • Pledge to slow right down for bad weather and avoid driving at all if possible
  • See our advice for drivers on other road safety topics

Page updated June 2016

Go bright and go 20, says charity, to prevent road casualties as evenings get darker

Friday 24 October 2014

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

As the clocks go back this Sunday, people on foot and bike become more vulnerable on our roads, as afternoons become darker and they are harder for drivers to spot. The charity Brake, in partnership with Autoglass, is calling on drivers to slow down and take extra care to prevent casualties, and inviting community groups and organisations to take part in its Bright Day initiative to raise awareness.

Last year in the UK 518 people were killed and 8,345 seriously injured while walking and cycling [1], and the risks are heightened on dark winter evenings. Drivers can do their bit to protect people on foot or bike by pledging to slow down to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops, giving themselves a far better chance of stopping in time in an emergency, such as if a child steps out from the darkness unexpectedly. Find more driver advice at www.brake.org.uk/driveradvice and read about Brake's GO 20 campaign www.brake.org.uk/go20

Schools, community groups, organisations, and anyone passionate about walking and cycling are encouraged to sign up now to run a Bright Day during Road Safety Week (17-23 November). Bright Days are fun dress down days where everyone wears their brightest clothes to raise awareness of the risks faced by people on foot and bike and the importance of drivers slowing down and looking out. They raise funds for Brake's work caring for people bereaved and injured in road crashes and campaigning for safer roads.

Last year, hundreds of groups and organisations took part in the Bright Day initiative, raising almost £12,000 to support Brake's work. For instance, junior road safety officers at Bellfield and Crosshouse primary schools in Ayrshire raised £150 and £100 respectively on their Bright Days, which included classroom activities about being bright and seen and prizes for students with the brightest outfits.

To run your own Bright Day, register now for your free resource pack, including posters, flyers and donation bucket stickers, at www.brake.org.uk/brightday

The increased danger people on foot and bike are exposed to during the dark winter months could be reduced by putting the clocks forward by an hour year round, which is why Brake is part of the Lighter Later campaign, calling for this common sense change. It's estimated this would prevent 80 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries every year [2], preventing unnecessary suffering and saving the NHS £138million annually [3]. Find out more at www.brake.org.uk/lighterlater

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "As the clocks go back and afternoons get darker, people on foot and bike are more at risk, so it's a time when drivers needs to be extra vigilant – and that includes slowing down, and going 20 or below in towns and villages. It's also an ideal time for schools, organisations and community groups to help raise awareness and prevent casualties by getting involved with Brake's Bright Day initiative. Bright Days are a fun, simple way to promote vital road safety messages while raising funds to support Brake's work supporting families coping with the devastation of a death or serious injury in a road crash. Brake also continues to campaign for the government to take a positive step to stop preventable casualties by changing the clocks for good."

Neil Atherton, sales and marketing director at Autoglass, said: "Road safety and respect for pedestrians is something that we have always championed at Autoglass, so we are extremely proud to be supporting Brake's Bright Day campaign again this year. Participating in a Bright Day is a great way for organisations to raise road safety awareness and understand the importance of being seen on the roads, especially at this time of year when the clocks change. Awareness has a crucial role to play in keeping people safe on the roads, which is why we're supporting Brake's vital campaign and planning our own Bright Day to raise money and help Brake make a real difference."

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.

Autoglass®
Autoglass® is the UK's leading vehicle glass repair and replacement service, serving close to 1.5 million drivers a year. For details of your nearest centre, call 0800 36 36 36 or visit www.autoglass.co.uk

End notes
[1] Reported road casualties in Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014

Gocompare.com - Dashboard Warning Lights

Almost half of motorists don’t understand their car's dashboard warning lights

 

As colder weather and darker nights draw in, motorists must take extra precautions to ensure that their vehicles are equipped to deal with the driving hazards associated with these conditions. However, research byGocompare.com1 found that millions2 of motorists are unable to recognise the warning signs that something may be wrong with their vehicle, putting themselves and other road users at risk.

Thanks to technological advancements modern cars are packed with complex electronics and sensors that help make drivers’ lives easier, but they can also help them to better understand how their vehicle is behaving.

While manufacturers are developing new ways to help cars to talk to their drivers, it seems that their efforts may be falling on deaf ears. Research commissioned by Gocompare.com found that almost half (48%) of drivers were unable to identify their vehicles dashboard warning lights.

With the winter months bringing with them wet and icy conditions it’s crucial that drivers know when their car is trying to alert them to potential problems - such as issues with their tyres or braking systems.

Read the manual

As driving technology becomes increasingly advanced you could find that you’re not entirely familiar with you cars features.

Of those surveyed, just 40% said that they had read their car’s driver manual. While this may seem like a tedious task, your manual is filled with important information that could help you to keep your car in a good state of repair and avoid a collision.

You’ll also find information on the warning lights that appear in your vehicle and their meanings.

Click the image below to see Gocompare's infographic on vehicle warning lights.

gocompare

Your legal obligation

Motorists have a legal obligation to ensure that their car is kept in a roadworthy condition. So understanding when something is wrong with your car could help you to avoid a fine or points on your licence.

Ignoring warning lights could mean your car falling into a state of disrepair and lead to a collision, and failing to keep your car in a roadworthy condition could even invalidate yourcar insurance.

Diagnose the problem and do it yourself

Having a full working knowledge of your cars warning lights could help to save you money too. Identifying issues early means avoiding more serious problems in the long run. Many tasks – such as checking your oil level or tyre pressure – can be done at home, helping you to save a pretty penny on maintenance costs.

See Gocompare.com’s essential motoring checklist for more information on car maintenance jobs you can perform at home.

1 Between18 and 24 May, 2016, OnePoll conducted an online survey among 2,000 randomly selected car owners aged 18 and over.

2 DVLA holds records for 45.5 million active motorists in GB as of 30 September, 2014

Motorists who said they understood the meaning of their dashboard lights - 52% of 45.4 million = 23,660,000

45,500,000 – 23,660,000 = 21,850,000 motorists do not understand the meaning of their dashboard warning lights

Keep our roads lighter and brighter

News from Brake

22 March 2017 
news@brake.org.uk

As we prepare, this weekend, to turn the clocks forward and welcome the start of spring, Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the UK government to commit to moving to Single/Double Summer Time (SDST), a change that would require us to move our clocks forward an additional hour all year round.

The change would create lighter evenings all year round and would allow many road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians, to take advantage of the benefits of natural light to remain safe and be seen during the busiest hours on our roads. Travelling in daylight during the winter months could have particular life-saving implications: UK statistics show that pedestrian deaths and the vehicle casualty rate both increased during the winter months of 2015, a consistent trend over recent years [1].  

Previous studies have estimated that moving the clocks to an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1) in winter, and two hours ahead (GMT+2) in summer, would prevent 80 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries on UK roads every year [2,3]. There are also significant environmental benefits to be gained from implementing SDST, it has been estimated that the switch would reduce CO2 pollution by up to 447,000 tonnes each year [4].

Introducing SDST to the UK would encourage more people to walk or cycle to and from their destination rather than travelling by car. This would be a powerful boost to the wellbeing of local communities, promoting safer, more sustainable transport and healthier lifestyles for many individuals. 

Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, said: “Brake has been campaigning for the clocks to be changed for good for many years. It is such a simple and effective way to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads, and carries so many other benefits, like increased daylight leisure time, and reduced carbon emissions. I want the government to look at this much neglected issue again.”

ENDS

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 campaignscommunity 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.

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. 

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016
[2] Report 368, a new assessment of the likely effects on road accidents of adopting a GMT+1/GMT+2 regime, Transport Research Laboratory, 1998 
[3] Department for Transport, A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World, 2009
[4] Yu-Foong Chong, Elizabeth Garnsey, Simon Hill and Frederic Desobry “Daylight Saving, Electricity Demand and Emissions; Exploratory Studies from Great Britain”, October 2009

Lighter later

lighter-later-logoThe way our clocks are set in the UK means for much of the year, most of us waste daylight in the early mornings while we're asleep, then have to make our way home in the dark in the evening. This creates extra problems for road safety because of the dangers faced by people on foot and bike on dark winter evenings, when they are harder for drivers to spot. By changing our clocks for good, we can prevent many needless deaths and injuries.

Get the facts on changing the clocks.

What needs to be done?

Brake is part of a coalition of organisations calling for our clocks to be put forward by an hour year-round – to GMT+2 in summer and GMT+1 in winter. This would make our evenings lighter and give us more daylight during waking hours. It would be a life saver, making vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists easier to spot in the evenings – it's estimated this would stop 80 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries every year, preventing unnecessary suffering and saving the NHS £138 million annually.

Putting the clocks forward would also have plenty of other benefits. It's predicted it would cut 447,000 tonnes of CO2 pollution, and save all of us money on our energy bills, because we would have to put our lights on less. There would also be a big boost to leisure, tourism, and healthy life-styles because we would all get that bit more daylight to play with.

What can I do?

Find out what you can do to help our other campaigns.

Campaign news

Britain still in the dark as charity renews call to make the most of daylight, 27/03/2015
Go bright and go 20, says charity, to prevent road casualties as evenings get darker, 24/10/2014
Time to change: Brake renews call to make the most of daylight hours and help save lives, 28/03/2014
Charity appeals for action to prevent pedestrian and cyclist casualties as clocks go back, 26/10/2012
Charity renews calls for clocks to be changed year-round to make roads safer, 23/03/2012
Daylight Savings Bill stalls at 3rd reading, 27/01/2012
Brake responds to consultation on Changes to Daylight Saving, 15/12/2011
Brake urges government to change clocks for good, and calls for driver vigilance, 27/10/2011
Brake calls on Government to save lives by making it Lighter Later year-round, 23/03/2011
Clocking up success! 06/12/2010

Personal tragedies, predictable causes: case studies of cyclist deaths

cycle4life_10This page tells the stories of some deaths of cyclists on British roads and the causes of those deaths.

Case study: The Ryl Disaster

For 12 members of Rhyl Cycling Club, it should have been a leisurely Sunday ride along a favourite route. But when an oncoming car hit black ice, the day turned instantly to disaster - three men and a 14-year-old boy were killed in Britain’s worst ever bike crash. The car veered across the A547, crashing into them. Those who died were: 14 year old Thomas Harland; Maurice Broadbent, 61, the chairman of the club; Dave Horrocks, 55, who had caught the cycling bug after he and his wife were given bikes by their son; and Wayne Wilkes, 42, who was cycling with his own son. Bad driving and lack of road gritting contributed to Britain’s “worst cycling disaster,” said coroner John Hughes. “The evidence shows classic signs that Robert Harris, driving a Toyota Corolla, was driving without due care and attention and he admitted his responsibility in going too fast. I fail to understand why no proceedings were brought against him.” The Inquest’s jury ruled out accidental death and returned a narrative verdict. Hughes also pointed out a failure to grit roads after calls had been made alerting officials to the ice after another driver had skidded earlier. The cyclists had set out on a 60-mile trip between Great Orme and Llanrwst, in what they believed was fine weather, in pairs and wearing helmets. Harris was fined in separate criminal proceedings for having defective tyres.
Read the BBC report.

Case Study: Tired driver kills champion cyclist

Champion speed cyclist Zak Carr was killed in October 2005 by a motorist thought to have dozed off at the wheel who drove into the back of him. The crash happened on the A11 near Wymondham, Norfolk at 7.30am. Forty-nine year old driver, Donald Pearce, was travelling home from a holiday in Turkey, having missed a night’s sleep. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
Read the BBC report.

Case Study: Collisions with trucks

33 year old Ninian Donald was killed when the driver of a skip lorry, turning at a junction, failed to spot him. The driver was not prosecuted because he had legal mirrors. Ninian left behind his partner Kate Evenden and their 19 month old daughter Ava Rose. Kate is campaigning for wide-angled mirrors on trucks and training for large vehicle drivers about cyclists. She says: “Ava Rose asks for her father every day. I have pictures of him around and tell her all about him but our lives have been changed for ever.”
Read the Evening Standard report.

In February 2006, 32 year old Patricia McMillan was cycling to work in Kensington, London, listening to music on her iPod. She was hit by an articulated lorry and crushed to death. A spokesperson from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said “If you are on a bike, you need to be aware of what is going on around you - and you can’t be if you’re listening to music.”
Read the Daily Mirror report.

Case Study: Speeding, texting car driver

Nineteen year old Jordan Wickington was killed by a speeding 25 year old who was texting her husband while driving at 45mph in a 30mph zone through a junction in Southampton. Jordan rode through a red light and was hit by the car. Kiera Coultas, found guilty of Death by Dangerous Driving, had already received three fixed penalty tickets for speeding in the same area.
Read the Daily Telegraph report.


Cycling for health >>

<< Cycle crashes: the statistics

<< To bike or not to bike? home page

<< Cycle4life home page

Pryers Winter Driving

Stay safe this winter

The Met Office has predicted an Arctic freeze and up to eight inches of snow being expected in some parts of the UK this Christmas. Snow fall, high winds and gales will lead to a short period of blizzard conditions thanks to an Arctic maritime air mass which will spread across the country.

The temperature change will come after what has been a particularly mild November, with some saying this has been the warmest November in 21 years.

Temperature and weather changes have a big effect on driving conditions. The driving surface, traffic flow and the automobile itself are all affected by changes in the weather. This not only affects the ability of people to travel but it can have a massive impact on productivity.

Personal injury specialists Pryers Solicitors deal with a lot of road traffic collisions. Jenny Barton for Pryers Solicitors said: “We are used to having to come in after an incident has taken place and fight to make sure the injured party receive all they are entitled to. However, we want to help make people aware of what they can do to avoid having an accident in the first place, which is why we produced this handy infographic so you know how to make sure you and your car are best equipped to get to your end destination safely.”

Plan ahead

De-icing a vehicle can take up to 10 minutes. The windscreen, other windows and mirrors need to be cleared fully, as driving with poor visibility is illegal. Avoid pouring hot or boiling water onto your windscreen as this could cause the glass to crack resulting in a significant repair bill. Ensure you remove snow and/or thick frost from all the vehicle’s lights, as if left on this can reduce the effectiveness of the lights making it harder for other road users to see you. Carefully monitor your fuel and windscreen wash levels to make sure you are not going to run out mid journey.

Take care of you

It is important to make sure you are carrying the right equipment with you, including a mobile with a full battery. Make sure you have warm waterproof shoes and clothing in case you end up needing to walk any distance. Also carry a spare blanket, a torch, and a first aid kit. Hot food and drinks is also a good idea if you are planning on a long journey.

Driving

When driving in snowy or icy conditions, it is vital that you stay alert and attentive to the road. Reduce your speed and increase the gap between you and the car in front. Remember any sudden or rough movements could lead to your vehicle sliding. If your vehicle begins to slide turn into it until you get your car back under control.

Most importantly pay attention to weather warnings and before setting off, ask yourself how vital the journey is – if you don’t urgently need to travel then don’t. Take a look at our inforgraphic below, or click here to download.

winter driving infographic

 

Time to change: Brake renews call to make the most of daylight hours and help save lives

28 March 2014

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

As the clocks go forward this Sunday, Brake, the road safety charity, is renewing calls for government to make roads safer by putting the clocks forward by an hour all year-round. This would mean making the most of available daylight, with lighter afternoons and evenings in the winter months, reducing danger to pedestrians and cyclists.

Moving the clocks to GMT+1 in winter and GMT+2 in summer would save an estimated 80 lives a year and prevent hundreds of serious injuries on the roads [1], preventing needless suffering and saving the NHS around £138 million a year in the process [2].

Safer, lighter evenings would also encourage more recreational walking and cycling. Combined with Brake's GO 20 campaign for 20mph limits in cities, towns and villages, this would mean a powerful boost for healthy, active lifestyles. By slowing down to 20mph in built up areas, night and day, drivers can make a personal contribution to making roads safer for those on foot and bike.

In 2012, despite widespread support from the Lighter Later coalition, MPs, and letters from 26,300 members of the public, a Daylight Saving Bill which would have compelled the government to review and act on the evidence for changing the clocks, ran out of time. Now Brake is renewing its calls for government to make this common sense change.

Find out more about the Lighter Later and GO 20 campaigns to make roads safer for people on foot and bike. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, hashtag #LighterLater.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Putting the clocks forward by an extra hour throughout the year is a simple change that would make a huge positive difference to society, giving us all more daylight to play with. With lighter afternoons and evenings, many more people would be able to get out and walk and cycle, to get to school or work, or simply for their health and enjoyment. People on foot or bike would be easier for drivers to see, many devastating road casualties would be prevented, and our communities would be more social, enjoyable places. As British summertime gets underway, we're also appealing to drivers to make their own change to protect people on foot and bike, by slowing down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops."

As British summertime starts, Brake is also appealing to schools, employers and community groups to support Brake's work and help raise awareness of pedestrian and cyclist safety by holding a Bright Day. These fun dress-down days promote the importance of drivers looking out for people on foot on foot and bike while raising vital funds for Brake's work supporting families devastated by road death and injury.

About the Lighter Later campaign
Brake is in a coalition of organisations campaigning for the clocks to go forward for an hour year round, making it GMT+2 in summer and GMT+1 in winter. This simple change would make our evenings lighter and give us more daylight during waking hours. It's estimated this would result in 80 fewer road deaths and hundreds fewer serious injuries each year [3], preventing unnecessary suffering and saving the NHS £138million annually [4].

It would also cut 447,000 tonnes of CO2 pollution [5], and save us all on our bills, because we would have to put our lights on less. Not to mention a big boost to leisure, tourism, and healthy life-styles because we get a bit more daylight to play with. Find out more at www.lighterlater.org.

In January 2012, the Lighter Later Bill ran out of time on the House floor, meaning MPs couldn't vote to put it through to its third reading, despite over 140 MPs staying to vote.

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.

End notes
[1] Report 368, a new assessment of the likely effects on road accidents of adopting a GMT+1/GMT+2 regime, Transport Research Laboratory, 1998
[2] Department for Transport, A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain's Roads the Safest in the World, 2009
[3] Report 368, a new assessment of the likely effects on road accidents of adopting a GMT+1/GMT+2 regime, Transport Research Laboratory, 1998
[4] Department for Transport, A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain's Roads the Safest in the World, 2009
[5] Chong, Y. Garnsey, E. Hill, S. & Desobry, F. Daylight Saving, Electricity Demand and Emissions; Exploratory Studies from Great Britain, 2009 http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/people/ewg/091022_dst.pdf