Road Safety Week is an important time of the year. It’s a time to sit up and take notice of how our driving can impact other road users and those around us.
Bike Smart is the message at the heart of this year’s Road Safety Week campaign and focuses on the safety of those on two wheels. Taking place between 19 – 25 November and coordinated by Brake, Road Safety Week seeks to raise public awareness over road safety, acting as the driver for positive change on our roads.
Coordinated by Brake, the road safety charity, Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event and we’re proud to be getting involved for another year by providing support to the charity through awareness of the message to our customers and drivers.
Cyclists and motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users in the UK. More than a third of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads are those travelling by bike, and more than 100 riders are injured every day in needless, preventable crashes
Road Safety Week 2018 will focus on policy-makers being Bike Smart – by implementing a safe systems approach, mandating life-saving technology and prioritising cycle-friendly infrastructure; drivers being Bike Smart – by looking out for those on two wheels, driving safely and slowly and giving bike riders plenty of space; and cyclists and motorcyclists being Bike Smart – through safe riding behaviours and appropriate training and equipment. Read on for advice and ideas on how you can take part and see the red boxes for ideas specifically linked to this year’s theme.
Steps you can take:
Be aware of changing road conditions
Driving during the winter months, roads can be much more hazardous. As temperatures start to fall, road conditions begin to worsen, and road accidents start to rise. Wet or icy roads dramatically increase stopping distances and cold temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of your tyres. Visit our Winter Driving page for some useful tips or speak our team about winter tyres.
Be more aware of two-wheel transport
Cyclists and motorcyclists are often harder to spot in winter and when you do spot them be mindful to leave extra space when passing or pulling out. Use your mirrors, double check and check your blind spots when pulling out from junctions.
Illuminate yourself with LifePaint
If you intend on using a bike, ensure you are wearing protective gear, lights and high visibility clothing. Recently during SMC’s Volvo Pride event, we learnt that Volvo had developed a safety product for pedestrians and cyclists called LifePaint which is a unique water based reflective safety spray. Invisible by daylight, it glows brightly in direct glare of car headlights. Making the invisible, visible. LifePaint washes off and will not damage the colour or the surface of your chosen material, lasting more than a week of normal usage.
Take extra care on rural roads
Sometimes seen as a race track, rural roads are a very common place where speed limits are exceeded. The roads are twisty and windy and often hide many dangers which means you should take extra caution and reduce your speed to allow for surprises hiding behind every corner.
Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Every year Road Safety Week provides a unique opportunity to focus the public, and policy makers’, attention on saving lives on our roads. The numbers of those travelling on two wheels is ever-increasing and yet bike riders remain incredibly vulnerable to death and injury; that is why this year our theme is Bike Smart. From 19 – 25 November we will be shouting about the importance of bike safety and encouraging all across the UK to do the same. Small changes can help save countless lives on our roads and now is the time for us to act to improve bike safety in the UK.”
You can also help by inspiring others to take action. Help raise awareness in any way you can, either at work, in your community or with friends and family. For advice, resources and ideas of how you can make a difference, visit roadsafetyweek.org.uk.