The issue of road safety has been very much in the spotlight recently, with a number of organisations highlighting the steps that drivers can take to reduce the likelihood of accident and injury
Drivers Warned of the Dangers of Tailgating
Earlier this month, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) held its annual Injury Prevention Day, which this year targeted motorists who drive too close to the car in front. Through its campaign, APIL is calling for drivers to “back off” and end the needless collisions caused by tailgating.
“Some injuries and subsequent insurance claims could easily be avoided if drivers backed off and left a bit more room,” explained Brett Dixon, president of APIL
. “Driving too close, or ‘tailgating’, is a bad habit of which many drivers are guilty. It is incredibly dangerous, as well as anti-social, and can be really intimidating for other drivers.”
“When in traffic drivers are advised to leave enough space so that they can see the tarmac between their car and the car in front,” he added. “In the UK we have 50 per cent more traffic per kilometre than the European average - this, coupled with bad driving habits could cause needless collisions, injuries which should have been avoided and claims on your insurance.”
Seat Belt Campaign Seen as Successful
Motoring organisation the AA also recently looked at the issue of road safety, and conducted research into the effectiveness of national safety campaigns aimed at reducing accidents and injuries.
Its survey revealed that campaigns targeting the use of seat belts have had the biggest impact on road safety, according to 35% of drivers questioned.
This was followed closely by drink driving campaigns (mentioned by 32% of respondents) and campaigns focusing on mobile phone use while driving (15%).
Interestingly, the AA
found that perceptions of campaign effectiveness varied by age. Around 39% of older drivers saw the seat belt campaign as the most effective, while 32% of drivers in the 18-24 age-group thought mobile phone campaigns topped the list.
However, despite the perceived success of the seat belt and other safety campaigns, the latest figures suggest that not every driver is getting the message about these simple but important safety measures.
The AA quotes figures from the Home Office, which show that in 2015 around 20,000 drivers received Fixed Penalty Notices for not wearing a seat belt. A further 17,000 were penalised after being caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel.
Campaigns Need Legislative Support
“Half the battle with any road safety campaign is making it memorable, and the clunk click every trip strap line certainly did that,” commented Edmund King, AA president. “But effective safety campaigns also need good legislation, like mandatory seat belts, and police enforcement. Campaigns don’t change attitudes overnight so need to be repeated and refreshed.”
“However, complacency is not an option, and it seems a small number of drivers still haven’t got the message about the advantages of wearing a belt,” he added. “As new vehicle technology emerges, and the long term vision of driverless cars comes ever closer, it will be interesting to see what becomes the next road safety campaign for drivers.”
If you have been injured as a result of a road traffic accident, then contact
our specialist personal injury lawyers today to find out more about claiming compensation.