Road Safety Advice for Oxfordshire Drivers Following Eight Fatalities

Drivers in Oxfordshire are being encouraged to be aware of the fatal four factors that can cause accidents, following eight deaths on the county’s roads during January.

‘It’s Not Worth the Risk’ is a campaign run by Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service, reminding drivers of the dangers of:

  • speeding
  • not wearing a seatbelt
  • distraction
  • drink and drugs.

Drivers and passengers are twice as likely to die in a crash if they are not wearing a seatbelt.

Andy Ford, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Manager, said: “The eight fatalities on Oxfordshire’s roads during January were an absolute tragedy. They were caused by a range of factors, but because we know the fatal four things that contribute to so many accidents, we’re putting greater emphasis on these in our latest safety awareness campaign.

“We are a rural county with lots of country roads, as well as fast arterial highways running through. Weather, time of day and visibility are all hazards that drivers need to take into account.

“Cars don’t just crash, unfortunately, it’s drivers who cause collisions. When behind the wheel, you must be alert, drive sensibly, safely and share the risk, from the moment you turn the ignition key.

“The fatal four are the main cause of death for drivers, their passengers, other road users and pedestrians. But, in most cases, these deadly collisions are avoidable.”

Becoming distracted while driving has been identified as a leading cause of accidents. Using a mobile phone or in-car technology such as a satnav while driving are distractions and have potential to cause an accident.

The campaign promotes safe alternatives for drivers who rely on their phones. This includes diverting calls to the messenger service, having a no calls rule when driving, and pulling over when safe to do so, but not on the motorway hard-shoulder. Passengers could also be asked to make or take calls instead of the driver.

Speed has also been linked to an increased risk in accidents. Research shows that for every mile per hour increase in speed, there is a three per cent increase in the risk of a road traffic collision. This risk is particularly a factor on bends or in wet or icy conditions.

Drinking alcohol and driving also puts all road users in danger. The only safe option is not to drink alcohol. There are always safe alternatives such as taking a taxi, bus or train, designating a ‘dry’ driver, walking home or deciding to stay overnight.

Andy added, “If you cause a collision, it can result in life-changing injuries to you and to anyone else involved. All for the sake of a lunchtime drink, taking a phone call or trying to save time. It really isn’t worth the risk.”

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