We recently commissioned some research on the subject of accidents in the UK.
Looking at the stats, the statistics show that each year the number of people involved in Road Traffic Accidents increases and looking at the research, it would seem that those who are most likely to be involved in such accidents are aged between 20 and 24..
What can be done to stop numbers rising further and to address the high numbers of young people being injured on our roads?
There has been talk of new regulations being put in place to help. For instance, a reduction in the speed limit in residential areas from 30 to 20mph has been suggested but such changes will only work if people adhere to the new laws.!
We can see from the large numbers of people we see with injuries from accidents in residential areas and also, from adopting a common sense approach that if cars were travelling more slowly, drivers would have more time to react to possible causes of accidents and hopefully avoid them. In addition, even if a collision does occur at low speed there is less likelihood of severe injury and some injuries may be avoided entirely.
Other government initiatives to reduce accidents include creating more speed bumps to discourage speeding. Whilst some drivers find these annoying, they are an effective way to slow people down!
Would more pedestrian crossings make it safer and easier for pedestrians to cross roads? Or would this simply encourage pedestrians to rely on the presence of the crossing rather than making sure for themselves that it is actually safe to cross before stepping out?
Another proposal was for random sobriety tests to be administered by the police to drivers; whilst this may discourage some from drinking and driving, the initiative would be costly and time consuming and one questions whether or not it could be widespread enough to be effective as a deterrent.
How about training bar staff to stop serving people who are already drunk?. How effectively would the pubs and clubs enforce a policy hitting bottom line though. Would the power of the pound win out against social responsibility?
The final suggestion was to educate young pedestrians and new drivers; this can never be a bad thing. A recent Daybreak poll found that 47% of new drivers did not feel that they were ready to drive and lacked confidence. Education on safe driving and safety as a pedestrian should not stop at a driving test.
There is as ever no one answer to the problem of increasing accidents on our roads but one thing’s for sure, we need to start doing rather than just proposing!