The UK’s biggest annual road safety campaign has come around again, with Road Safety Week taking place from November 15th to 21st and adopting the tagline of ‘taking action for safer roads’. The annual campaign aims to raise awareness and get more people involved in road safety, with a series of events, demonstrations and fundraising and involving schools, organisations and communities. And this year’s event comes at a strange time, when road safety statistics have shown a marked improvement on previous years, but for a very obvious reason.
Government statistics issued for 2020 showed a 22% reduction in people who were either killed or seriously injured on UK roads, but clearly this can be pinpointed to the significant reduction in road traffic while the UK was in COVID lockdown. There were 1472 road deaths in the UK in 2020, and 23,486 people killed or seriously injured, with four months of the year (April to June and November) spent in lockdown. This unique reduction in traffic clearly had an influence and has skewed the figures to show what is likely to be a false impression of positivity.
In total there were 115,333 casualties of all severities in the UK in 2020, which is a 25% reduction, while cyclist casualties saw the biggest reduction at 34%.
Why are road traffic accidents occurring?
The most common factor leading to accidents is the failure of a driver or rider to look properly when driving, with this being the cause in 40% of road traffic accidents in 2019. The use of smartphones and drowsiness are also very common factors, and the aim of Road Safety Week – organised by the charity Brake – is to highlight these issues and educate drivers in how such factors can be eradicated or at least managed better.
At Ison Harrison we are often at the sharp end of road traffic accidents, with people seeking our professional help in pursuing compensation claims where it is felt that negligent driving has occurred, and also in seeking the best medical attention to manage the pain and suffering they are experiencing. This involves us in speaking to witnesses and identifying evidence and means we often see exactly what causes accidents and the negligent factors which campaigns such as Road Safety Week are aiming to improve.
158,000 vehicle drivers were involved in a road traffic accident in 2020, which highlights the need for awareness campaigns such as this, but the campaign also aims to celebrate the road safety professionals who are already working to improve road safety generally. The 2021 theme is “Road Safety Heroes” which celebrates the heroic work of road safety professionals in ensuring everyone’s right to make safe journeys to and from home and work, including pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists.
Seeking compensation for road traffic accidents
In the UK there is a projected figure for 2025 of 26 fatalities per million of the population, and that is an increase on the figures seen in 2020. Of course the COVID lockdown factor is a big influence on the increase that is expected, but it can’t be ignored that there is a general expectation that fatality rates will increase. This makes campaigns such as Road Safety Week all the more important and critical in making our roads safer in the UK and exercising everyone’s right to make safe journeys.
At Ison Harrison we urge everyone to get involved in Road Safety Week from 15th November and join the campaign to take action for safer roads. And if you or a loved one have recently been involved in a road traffic accident and feel that one party has been negligent in causing it, contact our legal experts today. We have a specialist team of professionals who can assist you in getting the best medical assistance and pursuing your claim for compensation.
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