Looking Out For Vulnerable Road Users As The Clocks Change
With the clocks going back one hour this weekend and daylight hours growing shorter, Road Safety Wales is reminding road users to take extra care and remain vigilant when out and about in the dark.
The arrival of autumn often brings worsening weather and reduced visibility, increasing the risk of collisions, particularly involving vulnerable road users such as children, older people, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Teresa Ciano, Chair of Road Safety Wales, called for extra vigilance as darker evenings begin, “Darkness creates more challenging conditions for road users. Motorists should drive considerately and reduce their speed to meet the traffic and weather conditions.
“Drivers should also ensure that their vehicle is prepared and well maintained.”
For optimum visibility of the road environment vehicle lights need to be in good working order, clean and correctly adjusted. Windscreens and windows should be demisted, unobstructed and clean inside and out, with wipers operating correctly.
Inattention or poor visibility from the driver’s perspective can lead to slower reaction times, increasing the risk of a collision.
Teresa Ciano added, “Drivers should avoid in-vehicle distractions and slow down, so they are able bring their vehicle to a stop within the distance they can see to be clear.
“Simple regular checks on a vehicle take just a few minutes but can help ensure that the driver’s view of potential hazards is not compromised.”
Other road users can contribute to casualty reduction by playing their part. For cyclists the use of a white front light, a red back light and a red rear reflector are a legal requirement at night. For pedestrians many outdoor coats, bags and shoes incorporate reflective materials which will make them more visible in the glow of vehicle headlights.
Choosing routes that are well-lit by streetlights and crossing at designated crossing places is good practice for road users of all ages.
Being visible and looking out for other people might sound simple, but not doing these things can lead to avoidable road casualties.
For further information on the impact of seasonal clock changes, see RoSPA’s Factsheet