As part of Road Safety Week, we’re encouraging everyone to be safe on their journey home from work, whether that’s in a car, on a bike or on foot.

The UK’s biggest road safety event, Brake’s Road Safety Week, is underway and will be aiming to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities across the country to take action to promote road safety, this year under the theme ‘Speed down, save lives’.

According to the charity, speed is still a major problem across the UK. Its 2017 campaign will focus on a number of elements including:

  • speeding causes deaths and serious injuries on our roads
  • rural roads are not race tracks
  • 20mph is the only safe speed in heavily built-up areas used by pedestrians and cyclists
  • going slow = stopping in time
  • speed is scary and noisy, it stops communities being enjoyable places for children and families to walk, talk and play
  • speed cameras work – they save lives.

Road Safety Week at BOC

Here at BOC, safety is an integral part of our culture, which is why this Road Safety Week we want to focus on helping all our employees, customers and the general public get home safely from work, whether you travel by car, bike or on foot.

After a hard day at work, it’s easy to go into auto-pilot mode as you rush home, however, it’s important to remember incidents can happen at any time and you should always be alert to hazards that are present or can arise when out on the roads.

The number of commuters injured in their cars has increased by 24% since 2011, while the number of cyclists killed on British roads and the number of serious injuries sustained by pedestrians have also risen, highlighting just how important it is to take care when travelling home.

We’re running a week-long roadshow for all our employees, to help raise awareness, and will be passing on some great tips and guidance to help you stay safe on the roads, pavements and bike tracks.

We want you home safely – tips for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists

Drivers driverDrivers

  • Make sure your car is ready to go – check your tyres regularly, make sure your mirrors are clean and adjusted and all your lights are in good working order.
  • Keep your concentration levels up – make sure you are focused on the journey and able to react quickly to diversions, weather issues and other traffic.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and other cars – if you are stopping behind another vehicle, the police recommend you should be far enough away to see where the car in front’s tyres touch the road.
  • Stick to the speed limit – speed is a factor in 1 in 4 fatal crashes in the UK. Even just going a tiny bit over the limit can increase your stopping distance and put you and others at risk.
  • Be aware – not just of other vehicles, but of cyclists and pedestrians and what sort of area you are driving through i.e. is there a school nearby?

Pedestriansexercise

  • Don’t take risks – wait for traffic to stop or clear before crossing the road.
  • Dress brightly – avoid dark clothes on a night and wear reflective bands or tabards that can easily be seen by drivers.
  • Concentrate on your surroundings – if you are talking on your phone, listening to music or reading the news headlines, you probably won’t hear or see cars as easily.
  • Find the best places to cross – ideally cross at an island or zebra, toucan, puffin or pelican crossing. Avoid crossing between parked cars.
  • Walk on the right if there’s no footpath – this way you can see oncoming traffic. Walk in single file and as close to the side of the roads as possible.

Cyclistscycling

  • Make sure you can be seen – avoid dark clothes and wear bright, light clothing with a high visibility tabard, armband or belt.
  • Signal what you plan to do – make eye contact with drivers.
  • Don’t forget your lights – you need at least one front white light and one rear red one. It’s worth keeping a spare set at work just in case.
  • Plan your route – now the nights are darker is there a better lit road or path you can try? It’s also worth avoiding areas where there are likely to be fallen leaves and branches.
  • Keep your bike in good shape – fit winter tyres and pump them up regularly to avoid punctures. It’s also worth checking regularly for nicks and cuts to your tyres

Want to know more about how you can stay safe when you are out and about? Take a look at the Road Safety Week website.

You can also learn more about Brake’s work to improve safety on the UK’s roads all year round.

Michelle Phillips
Chair of BOC’s Passenger Car Safety Forum