This week is Road Safety week (8-14 June) Fire and Rescue Services across the UK are coming together to raise awareness of the dangers to young drivers of driving and being distracted.
Although driving and distraction is a significant risk to all drivers, if combined with the inexperience of a newly-qualified driver it becomes an even more deadly cocktail.
What is distracted driving?
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off driving
The biggest distraction to all drivers is passengers, because of movement, chatting, laughing and general disruption in the car. Young drivers are also often affected by peer pressure with the having friends in their car encouraging them to take more risks. The collision risk increases with each additional passenger a young driver carries as a new driver is five times more likely to crash if they have two or more passengers in the car.
Laura Pratt, Watch Manager for the Road Safety Partnership said: “It is often the role of firefighters to release seriously injured people from vehicles after road collisions: this task is made even more distressing when the injured people are young. In fact road collisions are the biggest cause of death for young adults aged between 15 and 19. This is why we are keen to raise awareness of the dangers to these young adults and help save lives.
“Did you know you’re four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone whilst driving and your reaction times will be 50% slower whilst talking on a phone? Statistically, more girls die as passengers than as drivers, so it’s important for female passengers to speak up if the driver is not driving safely: they might only be speeding to try and impress.”
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are constantly talking to young people about road safety and the responsibilities that come with driving. We work alongside our partner agencies at Learn2Live and The Honest Truth events.
Road Traffic Event in Cullompton
On Monday 8 June as part of Road Safety Week a Road Traffic Collision reduction event will take place at Cullompton Tesco’s between 18:30-20:30, working in partnership with the local police and Cullompton Retained Fire Crew.
This will be targeting young drivers and specifically the message about driver distractions using the VW simulator. This modified vehicle has a range of interactive functions that are aimed to attract young drivers and allow us to talk to them. Included within the vehicle is an interactive driving simulator to test their skills. We can also simulate the effects of drink, drugs and speed allowing us then to get across our key messages about road safety.
Learn to Live
Learn2Live is a powerful presentation targeting audiences of future drivers ranging from the ages of 17– 24. Personal stories are delivered from emergency service professionals, their relatives and those that have been affected by the results of road traffic accidents. By sharing their experiences they communicate the life changing effects a moment of distraction at the wheel could cost them as well their loved ones who are left behind.
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