It may come as a surprise but more people are killed on UK roads in August than any other month of the year.
August marks National Road Victims Month, which remembers those who have been killed or seriously injured on our roads. RoadPeace, the road traffic accident charity has observed the National Road Victims Month since 1998 and August was chosen as it traditionally sees the most number of fatalities on the road.
August brings with it the school summer holidays meaning there are more children on our roads while on holiday from school. Many families also choose to holiday in the UK during our summer months and so our motorways see many more cars during August. Cars are more likely to be full of luggage, journeys tend to be longer and the children may well be in the back seat; this can be distracting to the driver, making accidents more likely.
In addition August marks the anniversary of several poignant road traffic accidents, including Princess Diana’s fatal road traffic accident on 31st August 1997 and Bridget Driscoll, who was the first person to be killed in a road traffic accident in the UK in August 1896.
National Road Victims Month aims at raising awareness to promote road safety as well as remembering those who have sadly been killed or injured in accidents on the road. According to Department for Transport figures, there were 1,780 deaths on UK roads in the year ending September 2015, with a further 21,920 people seriously injured. Those who survive are often left with serious, life-changing injuries which is why National Road Victims Month is important.
A number of events will be held throughout this month including a service of remembrance at the RoadPeace Wood at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The wood itself was planted to remember all those who have lost their lives in road traffic accidents. Furthermore an annual ceremony will be held on the steps to Liverpool Anglican Cathedral to remember everyone who has been killed on the roads.
Stay safe on the roads during National Road Traffic Victims Month. If you are planning a long drive this summer try to minimise any distractions and take short stops to break up your journey. Being focused and aware of your surroundings could make all the difference.