News from Brake
Monday 18 November 2019
Third of adults have been in a collision or near miss on the road in past year: level of road danger revealed for Road Safety Week 2019
New research from the road safety charity Brake has revealed that nearly a third of adults were in a collision, or had a near miss, with a vehicle on a UK road in the past year. The research, from a survey of 2,000, has been published to highlight the level of danger felt on UK roads and to encourage people to “Step Up for Safe Streets” for national Road Safety Week 2019, launched today.
Brake’s research highlights the large number of the population who have experienced danger on the roads first-hand, with 1 in 3 adults stating that they’ve experienced a collision or near miss with a vehicle on a UK road in the past year. This proportion rises to more than half when just young adults (18-34-year-olds) are concerned.
Crashes and near misses can have a significant impact on people’s perceptions of safety, making streets feel less welcoming and holding people back from choosing to walk and cycle – modes of transport which have support from the road safety community and Government as they reduce car use, and so the level of danger on the roads, as well as improving public health.
Brake delivers support to road crash victims and knows the devastation that such incidents cause to families every day – on average, there is a death or serious injury on a UK road every 20 minutes. The charity believes that every road death and serious injury is preventable and is urging everyone to think about how they can “Step Up for Safe Streets” for Road Safety Week, sharing inspiring stories of supporters who are campaigning to reduce the danger on roads, to help inspire others.
Sharron Huddleston’s 18-year old daughter, Caitlin, was killed in a crash in 2017 when her friend, who had recently passed her driving test, lost control of their car. Sharron is working with Brake to improve young driver safety.
“The death of my daughter, Caitlin, broke my heart. Knowing that Caitlin’s death could have been prevented is what pushes me on to campaign for better driver licensing and why I’m encouraging others to Step Up for Safe Streets for Road Safety Week. No mother should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child in a road crash but by working together we can try and make sure that tragedies like Caitlin’s never happen again.”
Louise Grainger is campaigning for a safe crossing outside her children’s local junior school, Ravenscote Junior in Surrey, and will be holding a campaign event on Wednesday 20 November.
“I’m campaigning for a safe crossing for my local junior school because it terrifies me to see the danger that children are facing on the roads every day. Our streets should be welcoming, safe places and that’s why I’m encouraging others to join a local campaign and Step Up for Safe Streets for Road Safety Week. If we all work together, we can make sure children never have to be in danger when crossing the road.”
Jackie McCord’s 16 year-old daughter, Cassie, was killed in a crash in 2011 by a driver with poor eyesight. Following this tragedy, Jackie successfully campaigned to get Cassie’s Law introduced, which gave police powers to fast track an application to revoke a motorist’s licence if they believe they are unfit to drive.
“The pain of losing Cassie will never leave me but it’s important that people hear my story and understand that road crashes aren’t inevitable, or acceptable. Getting Cassie’s Law introduced wasn’t easy but it was worth it, as it has helped make our roads safer. I encourage everyone to think about how they can help make our roads safer and what they can do to Step Up for Safe Streets this Road Safety Week.”
Schoolchildren, community groups and employees across the country are taking part in activities during Road Safety Week, helping them learn about the solutions which can eliminate road death and serious injury. These solutions are part of the “safe systems” approach to road safety and include measures such as 20mph limits in urban areas, segregated cycle lanes, and technology which can prevent vehicles from speeding. Brake is also sharing how everyone can “Step Up” and help improve road safety in their daily lives, suggesting that people choose to leave the car at home, when possible, helping improve safety and air quality, and pledge to be a safe driver, always keeping within speed limits and never drinking or taking drugs and driving.
Road Safety Week 2019 partners, Kwik-Fit and Specsavers, are also backing the campaign for safe streets, with Kwik-Fit offering free vehicle safety checks at more than 600 centres across the country and Specsavers touring a virtual reality driving experience to encourage people to make sure their eyesight is good enough for driving.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “These findings paint an alarming picture of the danger on our roads and yet it’s what we’re all exposed to, every day, when getting about. We shouldn’t have to accept this level of risk as part of our daily lives and so we are calling on everyone to “Step Up” for Road Safety Week and shout out for the solutions that we know can make our roads safe.
“Across the country, people are working tirelessly to campaign for safe streets, organising petitions, meeting with MPs and councillors and raising money and awareness. This Road Safety Week we want everyone to think about how they can do their bit and step up for safe streets. Can you join or start a local campaign? Do you need to take the car on your next journey, or could you walk, cycle or get the bus? If you are travelling by car, will you pledge to always keep within speed limits and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs? Let’s all Step Up for Safe Streets and, together, we can help make roads safer for everyone.”
Mark Slade, managing director of Kwik Fit, said: “This campaign highlights that we can all play a role in making our streets safer. While car safety technology becomes ever more advanced, it is vital to remember that the most important component is still the driver. We are all responsible for our own vehicles when we get behind a wheel so we urge drivers to make sure they ‘step up’ and keep their cars in the safest condition possible. At Kwik Fit we are here to help keep people safe on the roads so urge any motorist who has concerns about any part of their vehicle to bring it into one of our centres for a free check.”
Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins said: ‘It’s clear that good eyesight is vital for safe driving but we know that many people do not have regular eye tests, running the risk of falling below legal driving standards and potentially putting themselves and others at risk. We urge drivers to Step Up for Safe Streets, this Road Safety Week, by checking that your eyesight is fit for driving. We’re delighted to be supporting Brake’s Road Safety Week campaign this year – together, we can help make roads safer for everyone.”
Notes to editors:
Further details about Road Safety Week can be found at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk
 Brake survey findings:
- Survey of 2,000 adults undertaken by independent market research company, Surveygoo, on behalf of Brake, in October 2019.
- In response to: “In the past 12 months, have you been in a collision, or had a near-miss, with a vehicle on a UK road?” 31% (622 of 2,000) responded yes.
- 565 survey respondents were young adults (18-34). In response to: “In the past 12 months, have you been in a collision, or had a near-miss, with a vehicle on a UK road?” 50% (285 of 565) responded yes.
 Death or serious injury on a UK road every 20 minutes:
- Reported casualties by severity, road user type and country, United Kingdom, 2018, RAS30034 Department for Transport, 2019 – 28,080 UK deaths and serious injuries in 2018
 Safe systems explained:
Safe systems is a shared approach to road safety to prevent death and serious injury from road crashes. It’s based on the principles that people make mistakes and the human body is vulnerable to injury. This means that roads, speed limits, vehicles, driver rules and post-crash care should be designed in a way that prevents crashes from happening, or, in the event that a crash does occur, the kinetic energy in a crash isn’t enough to result in a death or serious injury taking place.
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 2019 takes place 18–24 November, with support from the Department for Transport and sponsors Kwik Fit and Specsavers.
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