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 those around us.
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.
As a leasing provider we work with many organisations where driving is a crucial part of their day-to-day operations. And with so many at-work motorists, it’s important to stay vigilant when driving for work.
This year’s theme focusses on Speed Down Save Lives. Here’s a reminder of the threat speeding can pose…
Why do we speed?
We seem to be living at a time when everyone is in a rush. Rushing to get to work on time; rushing to make it to your next appointment; rushing to get back to the office; rushing to pick up the kids; rushing to avoid the traffic home. And rushing on the road means we either break the speed limit, or we drive too fast for the conditions. We also get frustrated behind the wheel which clouds our judgement and makes us speed.
Every time we speed we are putting ourselves and other road users at greater risk.
How can we slow down?
Vehicle technology is constantly evolving with new, and potentially, life-saving innovations introduced with every new model launch.
Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) is a great example of how technology can proactively help reduce speeding. ISA uses GPS and information transmitted from speed limit signs to determine the local speed limit. Using sophisticated electronics, the vehicle can interpret these and slow the vehicle down if the speed limit is exceeded.
The goal for organisations such as Brake, is to see ISA available in all vehicles. And some cars already have it.
Do you, or your drivers, know what safety features are available are your vehicles? Encourage drivers to take a look in their vehicle handbook, or visit the manufacturer’s website to understand what useful gadgets could help to manage speed and keep accidents down.
Here’s a few popular ones to look out for:
- Traffic Sign Recognition – part of the technology used for ISA, Traffic Sign Recognition reads road signs and displays the speed on your dashboard, helping you to know exactly what speed limit it is, and when it changes
- Forward Collision Warning – this is when your vehicle can monitor and respond to a perceived incident, not just from the car ahead, but some systems can identify potential threats up to two cars in front
- Pedestrian Detection – this functionality detects people walking outside your vehicle, it even brakes for you should the situation require it
- Blind Spot Warning – these systems use a variety of sensors and cameras to provide the driver with information about objects that are outside their range of vision
- Lane Departure Warning – this is where your vehicle will warn you when their car is getting close to the lane marking
- Lane Keep Assist – taking Lane Departure Warnings one step further, Lane Keep Assist proactively steers the car back into the lane
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, these systems may be already working on your vehicle. However, some may require you to activate them manually which is usually by a simple switch of a button.
And remember to look after your windscreen! Most of these systems use radar, laser, or camera sensors, which are usually located behind a car’s windscreen. Find out more about the importance of windscreen calibration.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don’t drive if you’re stressed or upset
When you are not in control of your emotions, you are not in control of your car. You can easily speed without realising.
Above all, take action!
Do your bit – stop speeding, and start saving lives. It really is that simple!
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.