Safety Expert Issues Warning
As the clocks go back this weekend, road accident experts are warning that deaths and injuries on the road traditionally rise dramatically, often with devastating effects for the most vulnerable road users such as children.
Road safety statistics show that in recent years the number of people killed on the roads on a month by month basis increased as the clocks are put back. It also coincides with Halloween when more children are likely to be walking around.
Stephen Nye, from law firm Irwin Mitchell’s road traffic collision team, said: “The Department for Transport reports that over 26,000 people were killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads in 2009. With the total number of people injured on the roads just over 222,000. These figures are extremely worrying as many of these accidents could be prevented if all road users took a little more care.
“For the past six years the statistics show that the number of deaths on the roads increases as we move into autumn and winter when the clocks are put back.”
In 2008 there were 28,482 road incidents in which pedestrians were injured or killed with the highest proportion of these taking place in the winter months.
Mr Nye said: “Children who walk or ride to school should take extra care, as should drivers who need to adapt to the changes in light. With the sun rising as late as 8.00am and setting as early as 4pm, the walk or cycle to school can become a very different experience from the lighter months. Many young children may not yet be familiar with a route they will soon be doing in the dark as well as wandering around because of Halloween.
“This time of year is also when roads start to be more affected by the weather and with the Christmas season approaching the public will be receiving the usual reminders from the police about drink driving.
“With this in mind, parents should ensure that walkers and cyclists are suitably visible, and that the route they use is the safest possible. Far too often we come across families that have been devastated by injuries caused on the road.”