The darker evenings and poor weather conditions may lead to an increase in collisions, research has found
Thompsons Solicitors is advising the British public to take extra care when driving or crossing roads as the clocks go back this Halloween weekend.
British Summer Time (BST) ends on Sunday 30 October and has historically resulted in an increase in road collisions. According to statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), pedestrian deaths rose from 27 in September 2015 to 42 in the following month.
Data from the Department for Transport (DfT) also shows that nearly 600 more pedestrian casualties were reported in November 2014 compared with September 2014.
The darker evenings coincide with an increase in people out on the streets at night for Halloween and Guy Fawkes celebrations. Police forces across the UK have issued advice for the public, asking trick-or-treaters to wear reflective clothing and to stay alert when crossing the roads.
“Dark evenings certainly provide a perfectly spooky atmosphere for trick-or-treaters this weekend, but the public must remember to be extra careful when out and about in the dark to avoid causing injury to themselves and others,” said Thompsons Solicitors’ specialist road traffic collision solicitor and chair of RoadPeace North East, David Robinson.
“Motorists must be vigilant when driving in the dark and should ensure that their front and rear lights are working at all times and that they abide by the speed limit – especially with the wetter winter weather will inevitably affect stopping distances on wet and icy surfaces. Pedestrians also have an equal amount of responsibility to ensure they follow the rules of the road, whether it be using pelican crossings or wearing reflective clothing in the dark.”
Due to the high number of injuries and fatalities linked to road traffic collisions in the darker months, RoSPA is repeating its call for the government to trial Single/Double Summer Time (SDST), a system used by many European countries, which would create an extra hour of light in the UK each day. In a report conducted by British research laboratory, The Future of Transport (TRL), it was estimated that this change would result in approximately 80 less deaths and 212 less serious injuries reported on roads every year in the UK.
David said: “The sharp increase in pedestrian casualties reported within a mere two months of the clocks going back is a cause for concern and it is baffling why the government won’t even trial RoSPA’s proposals if as they claim SDST would benefit all road users.
“Anything that would reduce the number of collisions on the roads so that less people are victim to the devastating consequences of road-related injuries must be worth a shot.”
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