The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is calling on people to take care on the roads this winter to help reduce the number of road traffic collision casualties.
The plea comes during national Road Safety Week, an initiative organised by charity Brake which runs from November 18 – 24 and encourages drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to stay focused in order to avoid accidents.
Andy Reid, Head of Driver Training and Development at EEAST, said: “It’s always important to give your full attention when you’re doing any activity on or near the road, but with winter coming up it’s even more important as the weather can create extra dangers.”
This year’s Road Safety Week is focused on encouraging people to tune in to what they’re doing and avoid distractions to help stay safe on the roads. Mobile phones, including hands free kits, passengers talking, changing radio stations, eating at the wheel, and children in the back of the car have all been listed as distractions which could potentially cause accidents.
As well as avoiding unnecessary distractions, EEAST has issued some general advice to help keep people safe on the roads over the winter. Andy said: “We’re urging people to ensure they leave an appropriate distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead when driving and to always stick to the speed limits. Check the weather forecast before you head out but remember that conditions could change and deteriorate rapidly. And with the party season coming up it’s important to know who your designated driver is so you’re not tempted to drink and drive.”
The ambulance service receives almost 1,500 emergency 999 calls a month to road traffic collisions but this figure could rise over the winter period as the days become shorter and the weather becomes more treacherous.
“We’re also asking pedestrians and cyclists to remain vigilant when using the roads,” continues Andy. “Ensure you’re wearing hi-visibility clothing and if you’re cycling make sure you use lights in the dark. It’s also important you follow the rules of the Highway Code, and that parents educate their children about these rules, so that we can help minimise casualty numbers on the roads this winter.”
Throughout the week, EEAST will be tweeting about the road traffic collisions they attend as well as road safety tips and advice on how to ensure your car is prepared for the winter months. Follow @eastenglandamb and use #roadsafetyweek
More information about Road Safety Week is available from www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk