If you could cut out one car journey a week, which one would it be? The drive to work? The drive from work? The school run? Or that really annoying late night run to the shop as there’s no milk for the morning? If you’ve got a journey you could quite happily do without, then why not have a go at cutting it out for a week to see how you get on? That’s the message Brake, the road safety charity, is sending out for this year’s Road Safety Week, which kicks off today and runs until Sunday.
Ditch that driveEach year, Brake’s Road Safety Week follows a certain theme – in 2013 it was about concentrating on the road ahead and not the distractions all around, while last year’s campaign encouraged motorists to look out for other road users, especially cyclists and school children. This year it’s all about considering how and when you travel, paying particular attention to those unnecessary journeys when, even though more convenient, taking the car is unnecessary. Brake is asking motorists to ditch some of those drives and give walking, cycling, or public transport a go wherever possible.
20 is plenty…And if you can’t go without the car, maybe take some time out to consider how you drive. Driving slowly and steadily and sticking to the ‘GO 20’ speed limits in towns and villages will not only make the roads safer but also cut down on fuel consumption. And if you’re not convinced ditching one car ride a week really make a difference, here are some numbers to consider…
- Two thirds (63%) of trips are made by car, including four in 10 (40%) trips of less than two miles
- Average walking trips per person have decreased by 27% since 1995
- A quarter of adults in England are obese, with the cost to the NHS of people being overweight is estimated at £4.2 billion a year
- Incorporating activity such as walking and cycling into everyday life is effective for losing weight
- In 2013, 1,770 people were killed and 22,377 people seriously injured on UK roads. The vast majority of casualties are attributable to driver error
- Nearly half of households in England could be struggling with the costs of car ownership
- On average a family can save £642 a year by swapping a car-based school run for walking or cycling
- 22% of UK greenhouse gas emissions come from road transport
- Air pollution is estimated to cause 24,000 deaths a year in the UK, half attributable to road transport
- The number of cars is set to increase by 43% by 2035, and traffic delays by 50%