Citron Hygiene have over 400 vans in our fleet, operating out of 10 hygiene service centres, and take the matter of road safety extremely seriously. We are therefore keen supporters of Road Safety Week, an initiative by the road safety charity Brake. The week runs from the 20th to the 26th November and aims to raise awareness about the important of paying attention to speed limits and slowing down to help save lives.
Table of Contents
How Did Road Safety Week Begin?
Brake aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by road accidents to make the streets safer. The charity also works to support people who have been victims of road related incidents.
Road Safety Week was founded by Brake in 1997 and is now an annual event to help increase people’s understanding of the negative implications of ignoring speed limits and dangerous driving. The charity outlines a number of steps that people can take to reduce the number of needless deaths and injuries that sadly occur on our roads every year.
One of the main aims of Road Safety Week is to raise awareness about stopping distance. If a car is travelling at 30mph it will take 23 metres for that car to come to a complete stop after taking into account thinking distance and breaking distance.
Reducing the speed to 20mph reduces the stopping distance to just 12 metres after the brakes are applied. Just a 10mph increase in speed to 30mph leads to an additional 11 metres in stopping distance. This shows just how important it is to pay attention to speed limits and reduce speed when instructed. Slowing down can be the difference between life and death.
The statistics above reveal the stopping distance for cars, but vans can take longer as they are much heavier vehicles and are often full of equipment. This is a message that our team of drivers are fully aware of and emphasises the importance of not only keeping to the speed limits but also allowing plenty of stopping distance at all times.
What Factors Affect Stopping Distance?
There are a number of factors that affect stopping distance:
- Weather – poor conditions can lead to the stopping distance increasing due to poor visibility affecting the time it takes a driver to react. A wet road reduces a cars grip on the road, increasing the braking distance.
- Road condition – not all road surfaces are the same and this means they do not all offer the same levels of grip. For example, loose surfaces like gravel increase a vehicle’s stopping distance.
- Driver condition – the way you are feeling affects your stopping distance. If you are tired then you could take longer to react.
- Car condition – the condition of the cars brakes and tyres are important factors in bringing the car to a stop. According to the RAC research, tyres on the legal limit of 1.6mm of tread can take 60% more road to stop compared to brand new tyres.
The Importance of Road Safety Week
Citron Hygiene continue to place huge importance on road safety and vehicle maintenance to ensure both our vans and drivers comply with the high standards that we as a company demand. Road Safety Week is important for raising awareness about how important it is to obey speed limits and the factors that affect stopping distance. Next time you see a sign indicating a 20mph or 30mph zone just think why that is the case and the impact speeding could have if you are faced with a hazard.
Whilst this week each year comes as a timely reminder, it is of course important to ensure every week is Road Safety Week.