Road Traffic Safety Measures in Yorkshire
Road Traffic Safety Measures in Yorkshire
The UK has one of the highest rates for road safety in the world and the congestion rate is one of the lowest, yet people living in York may disagree. With the Hopgrove Roundabout in York – connecting the A1237 outer ring road with the A64 at its eastern side – holding the title of most congested road in Yorkshire you can see why. There were a staggering 1000 traffic jams in 2017, which not only increases travellers journey times but also cost the economy a whopping £10.3 million. Unfortunately the congestion is just as bad where the A1237 connects with the A64 at its western side is in second place with 763 incidents of traffic congestion over the same period, costing the local economy £6.6 million.
When there are traffic jams, the risks on the roads increase in many ways. Frustration and road rage is becoming a more popular feature of daily driving which in turn can lead to drivers making poor – and sometimes costly – decisions. Drivers are likely to speed once they have vacated the traffic jam or choose an alternative route – causing a rat-run through built up areas creating a higher risk to pedestrians, parked cars and cyclists.
However, with 22,160 traffic jams across Yorkshire at 2,416 traffic hotspots you are bound to regularly get stuck in traffic. Make sure you keep yourself, other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe from any potential incidents or accidents with these road traffic safety tips:
When faced with the prospect of a long queue of cars ahead of you it is often tempting to do a U-turn in someone’s drive or a side road and find another route to take. If you choose to do this make sure you check all around you before swinging out into oncoming traffic.
Look out for wildlife
Accidents involving wildlife are a growing statistic on roads across the UK with more than 450 people reportedly being injured in road traffic accidents involving either sheep or deer, leading to the death of around 40,000 of the animals.
And with the fatality rate of humans increasing each year, wildlife is clearly a big problem. Deer are one of the highest causes of accidents with 750,000 accidents being reported each year. Always be extra alert in rural areas as well as areas that are known to have deer walking around – such as the North York Moors, the Peak District, Spurn Point or Snaizeholme, Hawes.
Although the number of reported road accidents involving sheep is significantly lower than deer in Yorkshire, it is wise to keep an eye out for these creatures wandering across rural roads whilst you are driving. In fact there have been so many reported incidents involving sheep that North Yorkshire County Council have installed warning signs on the moors to inform drivers when the lambing season takes place.
According to a recent article by LegalExpert.co.uk, the number of road traffic accidents in autumn increases by 15% compared to those in spring and summer. There are many factors for this with the main one being the clock going back. Due to the times changing many of us will be driving to and from work with the strong sun directly in our eyes, making rush hour a difficult time to see the road ahead.
As well as making sure to always have sunglasses in the car it is important to conduct a safety audit on your vehicle. Our windscreens can get very dirty and dusty and, with a lower sun in the morning and evenings, these small particles can be picked up easily making it difficult to spot hazards. Give both the front and back windscreens a good clean and continue this regularly throughout the autumn. It is also worth remembering that if the sun is making it difficult for you to see ahead it will probably be difficult for the drivers around you too. Always make sure you maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you and be alert of your surroundings
Cyclists will also have the sun in their eyes so give them a wide berth when overtaking and keep a safe distance away from then while you wait to overtake. In 2016 over around 18,000 cycling accidents were reported to police with most happening between 3pm and 6pm, just as the sun is setting.
Autumn can be a dreary season with rain and fog common weather occurrences so make sure you do not leave it too late to turn your headlights on. It is also worth remembering that it is not only rain that can make the road slippery, fog can also be a problem. By maintaining a longer following distance you should be able to stop in time if you were needed to.
You should also ensure the main elements of your car are in good working order. Make it a habit to check your brakes, windscreen wipers, heaters and demisters regularly along with washing your windscreen.
If the weather has gotten particularly grotty clear your windows of ice or frost before driving off. Be careful with windscreen wipers on the ice so use your demisters first.
As always, make sure you drive the appropriate speed for the area you are in. If there are no speed limit signs take a look around you. If there is a presence of streetlights the speed limit is 30mph although some residential areas may have implemented 20mph limits, especially if the road is by a school.
Because of the bad weather it may be difficult to spot children walking or cycling to and from school especially if it is raining or if the sun is dangerously low. Stay alert when you are driving near schools, particularly between 8:30am and 9:00am or 2:30pm and 3:15pm.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, accidents and risks are sometimes unavoidable, but by taking steps to keep safe as the weather turns, you could help minimise the risks of the worst happening.