Despite massive increases in traffic over the last few decades, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the UK has one of the best road safety records in the world. The number of people killed on our roads has fallen from 5,500 in the mid-1980s to 1,754 in 2012.
This is a significant reduction and, undoubtedly, good news. But behind those impressive figures lies the fact that five people are killed every day on UK roads as a result of traffic collisions. A further 23,000 are seriously injured. Every death is a major tragedy for the victims’ nearest and dearest. And the simple truth is that many of the deaths and injuries could have been avoided with greater attention to the task in hand – driving.
That’s why leading franchise business Driver Hire, is urging businesses to support ‘Road Safety Week’, which this year takes place from 18th-24th November. Driver Hire is a specialist supplier of staff to the road transport and logistics industry.
The theme for this year is avoiding driver distractions as Chris Chidley, Driver Hire’s Chief Executive explains: “Whilst driving is the most dangerous thing we do on a daily basis, its familiarity can make drivers become over confident. It’s easy to feel overly safe, cocooned in your vehicle. We then start to multi-task and do other things as well as driving. The most obvious is mobile phone use when there’s no hands-free set in the car. This is of course illegal. But there are plenty of ‘legal’ distractions that the honest will admit to: eating, drinking, retuning the radio, reading instructions to find your destination or looking at what the kids are doing in the back of the car. All of which increase the risk of a collision. Indeed, driver distraction is a major cause of death and serious injury on our roads.”
To support the campaign, Driver Hire is asking its 100 offices across the UK to send out Brake’s ‘Tune in to road safety’ posters to their customers. They’re also sending out ‘top tips’ cards to drivers, with helpful advice on how to avoid driver distraction and stay focused when behind the wheel.
“At Driver Hire we believe that road safety is important 365 days a year – not just during road safety week, Chris Chidley concludes. “That’s why we’re putting our full support behind the campaign.”