Brake launches ‘Drive less, live more’ interactive resource to reduce car journeys and make streets safer in the run up to Road Safety Week

Wednesday 4th November
Contact e:
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, has produced a free interactive resource in the lead up to Road Safety Week 23–29 November 2015, with the theme 'Drive less, live more'. Developed in partnership with AIG and Specsavers, the resource encourages everyone to make our streets safer, more pleasant places by reducing car journeys and walking, cycling or using public transport instead.

Every day five people die on UK roads, and over 60 are seriously injured – resulting in needless devastation, trauma and suffering1. The vast majority of casualties are down to driver error. Road safety isn’t just about driving safely and legally or using the green cross code, although these are crucial. It’s about doing what we can to protect ourselves and the people around us to make our streets safer. A big part of that is driving less, as little as possible, or not at all.

Many people walk the few metres from their front door to the car and drive, even if they’re only going round the corner. A shocking four in 10 car journeys are less than two miles2. Brake is asking everyone this Road Safety Week to consider how they use roads, and pledge to leave their car at home, at least for some journeys.

Walking, cycling or using public transport not only makes our streets safer by reducing traffic danger, but has personal benefits too. It can save money in car costs; help people live more active lives; reduce stress and illness; reinvigorate communities; and cut congestion and pollution.

The open-access ‘Drive less, live more’ resource can be used to facilitate discussion about the importance of driving less. It can be used by anyone who works with drivers, including: fleet professionals and employers; driving instructors; road safety professionals and emergency services; teachers; community leaders; and by individuals directly wanting to see how they can help themselves and their community by driving less. Brake is especially encouraging families to use the Drive less, live more resource to reduce school-run and commuter traffic, and asking businesses to manage at-work journeys.

Access the resource online now at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/drivelessinteractive.

Gary Rae, Director of Communications and Campaigns, said: Our new ‘Drive less, live more’ e-learning resource shows people the benefits of walking, cycling or taking public transport, particularly for shorter journeys. The resource is a powerful tool that shows that by driving less, you can improve road safety and prevent casualties, become more active, and protect the planet. The resource is freely available to road safety practitioners, employers, driving instructors and educators to help them raise awareness of the benefits of active and sustainable transport.”

The facts

By 2035 the number of cars on England’s roads is set to increase by 45% and traffic delays by 64%3.

Four in 10 car journeys are less than two miles – short enough to replace with a pleasant walk or cycle ride. Currently, one in five cars on the road during the morning rush-hour is doing the school run. Half of our children are driven to school4, even though the average school run for primary schools is just 1.5 miles5.

One in four adults in England is obese and a further 37% are overweight6. The cost to the NHS of people being overweight is estimated at £4.2 billion per year7. Incorporating activity like walking and cycling into everyday life is effective for losing weight8, and can help guard against serious illnesses such as asthma, depression, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and some cancers9.

Commuting by public transport can also improve overall fitness. People who take the bus or train to work instead of driving have been shown to have a lower BMI and a healthier bodyweight10.

Nearly half of households in England could be struggling with car-ownership costs11. Driving less can save money: for example, a family can save £642 per year by swapping a car-based school run for walking or cycling12.

Groups can register to take part at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.

Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2015 takes place 23-29 November, with support from the Department for Transport and headline sponsors Specsavers and AIG.

The theme of Road Safety Week 2015, 23-29 November, is about making our roads and communities safer, happier places for everyone, by encouraging people to ‘Drive less, live more’.

Brake has been running this successful event for 17 years, growing its reach and impact. We now share our experience globally at www.roadsafetyweek.org, to help others run Road Safety Weeks and similar events in other countries.

Five people die every day on UK roads and around 60 are seriously injured. Brake’s priority is tackling these devastating tragedies, and making our streets safe for people to use without fear or threat. Reducing traffic is an important part of this.

Brake’s main aim through this November’s Road Safety Week is to help people consider the options open to them, and better understand the benefits of driving less, to road safety, health, personal finances, communities and the planet.

About 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.

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 in Great Britain 2014, Department for Transport, 2015

[2] National Travel Survey, Department for Transport, 2010

[3] Road Transport Forecasts 2011, Department for Transport, 2011

[4] Transport: Social Trends 41, Office for National Statistics, 2011

[5] Transport: Social Trends 41, Office for National Statistics, 2011

[6] Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England, 2013 NHS, 2013

[7] Butland B, Jebb S, Kopelman P, et al., ‘Tackling obesities: future choices – project report (2nd Ed)’, Foresight Programme of the Government Office for Science, 2007

[8] Start Active, Stay Active: a Report on Physical Activity from the Four Home Countries’ Chief Medical Officers, Department of Health, 2011

[9] NHS http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/Whybeactive.aspx, 2015

[10] Flint Ellen, Cummins Steven, Sacker Amanda, ‘Associations between active commuting, body fat, and body mass index:  population based, cross sectional study in the United Kingdom’, BMJ 349 :g4887, 2014

[11] Locked Out: Transport poverty in England, Sustrans, 2012

[12] Estimate by Sustrans based on figures from the AA, DfE school statistics, DfT National Travel Survey, DEFRA & DECC GHG conversion factors and the Bike Station, June 2014