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Road Safety Week 2023
Road Safety Week runs annually and is the biggest road safety awareness event in the UK. The week organised by ‘Brake’, a road safety charity, runs from 19th – 25th November with the sole aim of bringing communities and professionals together to campaign for road safety.
Roads are essential to our daily lives and many individuals use them every day in some capacity, whether that is driving, riding, walking, or travelling as a passenger. From the bustling activity of commuters heading to work, to the seamless flow of goods and services that drive our economy, roads underpin the very fabric of our daily lives and industries.
However, this convenience comes at a grave cost, a toll measured not just in numbers but in human lives. The stark reality that approximately five individuals lose their lives on Britain's roads every day is a sombre reminder of the inherent risks associated with road travel. These accidents not only result in loss of life but also inflict serious injuries, causing immeasurable pain and suffering to families and communities.
That is why, as an industry, it is a necessity for us to work together to ensure everyone understands how to protect themselves and other road users through policies, procedures, training and education.
The theme of Road Safety Week 2023 is Speed. Speeding, both in and out of the workplace, is a complex behaviour influenced by a variety of factors including time pressures, traffic flow, passenger distraction and a lack of awareness. However, a significant factor which can lead to speeding is driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Drugs and alcohol interfere with the brain’s communication pathways, affecting the way the brain works and often restricts an individual’s ability to make imperative decisions quickly and effectively. This can lead to a willingness to take risks and act recklessly without thinking about the consequences that lie ahead. In addition, it has been demonstrated that drugs and alcohol have a significant influence on automated driving performance, such as speed, control and weaving and may also have negative effects on reaction time, vision, tracking, concentration, comprehension, and coordination.
As a result of this, an individual’s driving ability is drastically reduced.
Speeding is one of the most common driving offences, coming hand in hand with driving under the influence and is something we unfortunately see very frequently. A recent example of this includes:
- Speeding drug-driver, James Gibson, had alcohol in his system and had taken drugs before driving at speeds of 82mph in a 30mph, when he hit and killed a father and his two-year-old son. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-66294805
Implications for your organisation?
Speeding and driving whilst under the influence are choices that individuals make. For organisations, the implications of employees engaging in these dangerous behaviours while driving for work are severe and far-reaching. Not only do these actions jeopardise the safety of individuals on the road, but they can also lead to significant consequences for the organisation itself. Damage to reputation, financial losses, increased costs related to employment and training, and potential legal actions are all very real risks.
With that in mind, it is imperative for everyone, from individuals to organisations, to recognise the shared responsibility we have in ensuring road safety. By actively participating in initiatives like Road Safety Week, we can contribute to creating safer roads and ultimately saving lives. Sign up here today for your free resources and together we can make a difference.