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Road safety and British Summertime

Mike Smalley, head of Lyons Davidson’s accident investigation team, looks at road safety issues as the clocks change for spring.

The clocks going forward on 26 March is good news for road safety professionals, as it means lighter evenings helping to reduce road casualties, especially in vulnerable road users such as pedestrians (particularly the young and elderly), cyclists and motorcyclists.

It has long been the aim of many involved in road safety to achieve the single/double British summertime (SDBST), in other words to move the clocks forward an extra hour over and above that which currently takes place all year round. Figures show that casualty rates increase, particularly during the afternoon and early evening, as a result of darker evenings and already tired drivers finishing a long day at work.

Not only does the light make a difference but so too does the weather: those April showers tend to keep the vulnerable road user groups off the road, forcing them to use other forms of transport or to stay at home. In fact, the effects of weather trends are now monitored and measured to ascertain the effect on road casualties.

By far the biggest difference could be made if we all drove a little more carefully, perhaps leaving a little earlier to avoid the pressure of time and remembering to put mobile phones out of reach to take away temptation. Simple but effective solutions will help drive down the casualty rate and reduce bereavement caused by road death.

For more information on any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Mike Smalley by emailing msmalley@lyonsdavidson.co.uk

Posted on Mar 24th, 2017 by Lyons Davidson