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Motorway summer
Press Release - Drive to arrive this summer
Posted on 24/08/2017

In summertime throughout Devon and Somerset the roads become busier than ever as holiday makers arrive. This August in one week alone on the stretch of road from Tiverton to Barnstaple (377) there were four fatalities (three from the same family). 

Watching your speed is important throughput the year but Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is asking all road users to take extra care doing the summer months.

Jon Worsley North Devon, Group Commander said: “We are now in the holiday season where an increase in traffic is seen across all of Devon and Somerset. In the last two weeks there has been three serious road traffic incidents on the North Devon link road, which have had devastating consequences. It’s important to be patient and don't feel pressured into having to overtake a slow-moving vehicle, even if a queue of traffic is building-up behind you. Please drive to the road and weather conditions, slow down and take extra care when overtaking’ remember ‘safe driving saves lives’. “    

It is essential that people stick to the posted speed limit but it is also vitally important that the appropriate speed is chosen for the road conditions. Driving too close to the car in front, undertaking and failing to signal are all widely accepted as examples of bad driving.

However, some drivers fail to accept that driving too fast is also poor driving despite the fact that this is a contributory factor in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year.

Driving slower
The difference of driving a few miles per hour slower can mean the difference between life and death. The faster someone is driving, the less time they have to stop if something unexpected happens.

Laura Pratt, Road Safety Manager for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service said:  “Driving within the speed limit and within your capabilities, means you protect yourself and your passengers, as well as other road users.”

During the summer months with the extra traffic on the roads it’s wise to allow extra time for your journey. By simply adding another 5-10 minutes you arrive at your destination more relaxed and ready to enjoy your day. You arrive alive!

Laura continued: “Being distracted at the wheel is another common reason for collisions, often due to answering mobile phones, texting or your passengers. A distraction can be as simple as looking down to change the volume on your radio and in that moment you’ve taken your eyes and attentions off the road. You need to have 100% concentration on the road to keep you, your passengers and other road users safe.”

The facts
• Speed is one of the main factors in fatal road accidents
• The risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph
• Fatal accidents are four times as likely on rural “A” roads as urban “A” roads

The law
You must not drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road and your type of vehicle. The speed limit is the absolute maximum and it doesn’t mean it's safe to drive at this speed in all conditions. The speed limit is a limit not a target.


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