How to reduce road deaths when the clocks go back
by Helen Jackson |
posted 30 October 2017
According to the latest statistics from the Department for Transport, more children are being hurt on Britain’s roads during the evening school run than at any other time of day. In fact, in every year since 2006, the majority of road casualties have occurred between the hours of 4-6pm.
Errol Taylor, RoSPA chief executive, said:
“Too many children and other road users are being killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads because the autumn clock change suddenly plunges their evening journey into darkness, at the same time as other risk factors such as lower levels of alertness for motorists, and children’s tendency to take an indirect route home from school.”
The figures show that of the 15,976 children hurt on Britain’s roads in 2016, nearly one quarter (22%) were hurt during the hours of 3-5pm. While more than 1 in 3 of all pedestrian casualties happened between those times.
Each year, the number of people killed and seriously injured on the country’s roads spikes immediately after the autumn clock change. This spike is due to the instantly-darker evenings.
“The current daylight savings system is archaic developed at a time when working practices and technology – not least automated vehicles – were a million miles from what we have today.' Taylor continues. “We’d like to see the Government assess the potential benefits of the change, which could take the form of a short trial.”
By altering the current daylight savings system to Single/Double British Summertime. So, moving the clocks forward by an hour year-round. We would provide children, and other vulnerable road users, extra daylight in the afternoons to make it home safely.
Although this change could increase the risk to these road users in the darker mornings. The reduced risk in the evening would lead to a decrease in deaths and injuries overall.
“Not only would a change save lives and reduce injuries, but it would also have a host of other benefits in terms of the environment, health, tourism, crime and social isolation,” adds Taylor.