When the UK went into lockdown back in April, traffic volumes decreased by over 80% and drivers stopped using their vehicles for all but essential travel. As you might expect, with fewer vehicles on the road, the number of road traffic collisions reduced considerably. However other issues surfaced, especially relating to speed and risk to vulnerable road users.
For some drivers, seeing a clear road was an invitation to drive much faster than conditions and the speed limit allowed. Police and other motoring organisations noticed an increase in overall average speeds. They also found that more individual drivers were willing to drive faster.
This may have been because drivers saw less risk, but in fact their higher speeds increased the risk for any other road users that did interact with them during their journey. Once the most severe period of lockdown ended, there was a larger number of pedestrians, cyclists and children using the roads and pathways. The danger to these vulnerable road users from faster drivers in high risk areas is clear to see.
Tips for safer driving during Coronavirus
Now that our country’s experience of Covid-19 is changing, and varies from one region to the next, we will all experience different traffic conditions at different times. However, the following tips will help you to remain a safer driver when you are out on the roads:
- Check your speed regularly, especially on roads with less traffic
- Use cruise control or speed limiters to help control your speed
- Be especially vigilant of children, cyclists and other vulnerable road users
- Expect different traffic volumes if travelling longer distances
- Is your journey actually necessary? For example, can you use online meeting facilities instead?
- Does your route take you into areas on local lockdown? Be ready to adjust your speed according to the actual and potential hazards
- Give vulnerable road users plenty of room when overtaking