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Be Safe on the Roads this Winter

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With the onset of sub-zero temperatures and frosty weather there is no time like Road Safety Awareness Week to remind people to be safe on the roads this winter.

This is Road Safety Week – a week co-ordinated by Brake.  At the launch of their National Road Safety campaign the charity revealed alarming statistics that one third of adults have experienced a collision or near miss on the road during this past year.

The research based on a survey of 2,000 people has been announced to emphasise the level of danger on UK roads and ‘Step up for Safe Streets’  forms the theme for this year’s Road Safety awareness campaign. The research highlights that this ratio rises to more than half with the 18 – 34 year age group.

Crashes and near misses can have a significant impact on people’s perceptions of safety, making streets feel less welcoming and holding people back from choosing to walk and cycle.

Cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are amongst the most vulnerable road users; bikers face many risks every time they get on their bikes.  If you are involved in a crash resulting from another road users’ careless actions, injuries can be severe, catastrophic or even life-changing.

The importance of checking your bike/vehicle for defects and general maintenance cannot be emphasised enough in preparation for winter, especially your light’s, tyres and that brakes are in good working order.

Ian Wolstenhulme, Personal Injury Solicitor said, “We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing high visibility clothing when out on your bikes. Whilst cycling ensure you have a suitable cycle helmet and that you are familiar with Highway Code and encourage your children to take the cycling proficiency test.”

This time of year potholes start to appear and road surfaces can become uneven with build-up of surface water and ice, please take extra care on your motorcycles, scooters and whilst cycling.

“I would also advise drivers to remember to give extra room when overtaking cyclists, scooter riders or motorbikes, be prepared for the unexpected manoeuvre, due to surface water, pot holes and water gullies.”

It’s timely, as these various nationwide campaigns are being run, that drivers are reminded to leave the correct minimum passing distance which is usually 1.5metres.

“Finally”, adds Ian, ”Let’ s remember our four legged friends at this time of the year; keep a look out for dog walkers on unlit roads, especially country lanes.  If you are a dog walker, make sure both you and your friend can be seen. With a lowering sun causing visibility problems during the day and early sunsets, remember as a vehicle driver to keep your windscreens clean, look out for horses on the road and take care. Reported figures from the ‘Dead Slow’ campaign there have been 3,737 incidents on our roads and lanes. 43 people have lost their lives and 1085 injured. 315 horses have been killed and 945 injured, pass wide and slow, taking care whilst driving on winding roads or lanes.

Sadly accidents do happen but our team of Personal Injury solicitors are here to guide and support you.

For further advice on road safety please contact our Personal Injury Team on 0161 785 3500.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.