In 2022, 49 people were injured, 236 people were seriously injured and 19 people were tragically killed on Warwickshire’s roads. Behind every figure is a family who have had their whole lives changed.
That’s why to help improve safety across the county, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) are reminding people of dangers and outcomes of the ‘fatal four’ behaviours behind the wheel – drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone and speeding with a visual demonstration of a road traffic accident at Nuneaton Fire Station.
The simulated two-car collision will be in place for the next month and shows the devastating consequences of the ‘fatal four’ behaviours. The main focus week of this awareness campaign runs from August 14, aligning with the Police national road safety initiative.
Throughout the month, WFRS and Warwickshire Police will be at Nuneaton Fire Station offering road safety and safer driving advice around the ‘fatal four’. They will also be able to talk about the installation and the impact they are hoping it will make.
The ‘fatal four’ behaviours have long been established as leading causes of road accidents and fatalities:
- Inappropriate speed – Even just a couple of miles an hour more can be the difference between life and death. The speed limit isn’t a target, you should drive at a speed to suit the conditions and type of road. Make sure that you’re driving at a safe speed at all times, and never exceed the speed limit.
- Using a mobile phone – Never use a mobile phone while you’re driving, or behind the wheel with the engine running. You can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine if you use a hand-held phone when driving, including making calls, texting, reading posts and playing games. The law also applies if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queueing in traffic.
- Not wearing a seatbelt – Always make sure you and your passengers are wearing a seatbelt or secured in a car seat before you set off on any journey. You’re twice as likely to die in a crash if you don’t wear a seatbelt. Children should use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first. Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt.
- Drink/drug driving – Never drink or take drugs before driving. The side effects of drink and drugs impair your ability to drive, including making you drowsy, slowing down your reactions and affecting your co-ordination. Impaired driving increases your chances of being involved in a collision.
Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Fire, Cllr Andy Crump said: “This installation in Nuneaton us a powerful reminder of the consequences that irresponsible driving has.
“We all need to be aware of the ‘fatal four’ behaviours and educate ourselves of the dangers they pose both to ourselves and other road users.
“I encourage local residents to visit the installation, have a chat with the crews there and take advantage of this valuable insight into the potential consequences of unsafe driving habits.
“Together, we can make our roads safer and protect the lives of our loved ones.”
Inspector Jem Mountford from Warwickshire Police Roads Policing Unit said: “As police officers and firefighters we regularly see the consequences of the fatal four. People think it won’t happen to them, but it can and does.
“Hopefully when people see the installation, they will take the time to reflect on their driving and how it can impact on others.”
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is part of the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership, working collaboratively with the aim of reducing the number of deaths and injuries on Warwickshire roads and create a safer road network for all.
The Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership has implemented a 10-year Road Safety Strategy, setting out how together we can achieve a target of a 50% reduction in road deaths and serious injuries on Warwickshire’s roads by 2030.