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Road Safety Campaigners Call for Year-Round Clock Change

By Practice Development Leader, Personal Injury

Following our move into British Summertime a couple of weeks ago, road safety campaigners are calling for the clocks to go forward year-round.

Road safety charity Brake say the move would make our evenings lighter and give us more daylight, leading to fewer daylight hours being ‘wasted’ while the majority of us sleep.

In the UK, our clocks follow Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from October to March and British Summer Time (BST) - which is GMT+1 hour from March to October. Most of Europe follows Central European Time, which is one hour ahead of GMT in winter and two hours ahead of GMT in summer – always one hour ahead of the UK.

Brake say that the way the UK sets its clocks creates unnecessary risk on our roads and that moving our clocks forward year round would mean safer roads in the afternoons and evenings when many of us are walking or cycling home from school or work and need to be seen by drivers.

Road casualty rates during the working week peak at 8am and 5pm for adults and 8am and 3:30pm for children. The afternoon peak is traditionally higher for both groups especially during the winter months with the arrival of darker evenings and deteriorating weather conditions.

As soon as the clocks go back in the autumn and the sun begins to set earlier in the day, we typically see a rise in road traffic accidents involving vulnerable road users such as children, cyclists, motorcyclists and the elderly.

Brake and other road safety organisations such as The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) estimate that by making it GMT+2 in summer and GMT+1 in winter, this would result in 80 fewer fatal road accidents and hundreds fewer serious injuries each year, saving the NHS around £138m annually.

We very much welcome any initiative that would lead to a reduction in the devastating number of needless casualties we see each year on our roads.

Every one of these deaths, leave a legacy of suffering amongst bereaved families who not only face the shock and grief of losing a loved one in what are often sudden, violent and wholly preventable circumstances, but also long-term emotional trauma, health problems and financial hardship.

With more people travelling in the relative safety of daylight rather than darkness, using our roads should become safer for all of us.

Deborah Johnson is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK and the Chair of the Road Safety Charity Brake.

Slater and Gordon No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you to claim compensation if you were injured in a road traffic accident through no fault of your own. Call us for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.

Slater and Gordon are a leading personal injury law firm with 1,450 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.

Road Traffic Accidents

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