Road safety

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Road safety

  1. 1. Road safetyPassengersYoung driversThe risk of being involved in a fatal or serious crash is much higher for youngdrivers when there are passengers, especially when they are of the same age andwhen there is more than one. This is because friends in the car can - Distract the driver when theyhave not fully mastered heir driving skills - Encourage riskier driving behaviours, such as driving after drinking alcohol, speeding, swerving and following to close. - Tempt the driver to show off.Having a passenger can simply make the driver less attentive and less able torespond to hazards while driving. If you are a passenger in a car that is beingdriven by your friend, allow them to concentrate on the driving and try to helpby spotting hazards in and around the road.Seat beltsClass Debate – our personal freedom is invaded when we are made to wear seatbelts. For or against.The wearing of seat belts was made compulsory in all states of Australia inJanuary 1972. Since that time there has been a dramatic decline in the number ofdeaths and serious injuries in car accidents. It has been proved that the chancesof being injured or killed are 60 percent less if the person is wearing a seat belt.There are many myths about wearing of seat belts, but in an accident it is muchsafer to be in the car than to be thrown out of it.Cars are designed to crumple on the outside first and to absorb most of theimpact, leaving the inside compartment relatively intact. If you are thrownthrough the windscreen or windows against a very hard surface you are morelikely to be killed.Also if you are secured by a seat belt and the car is immersed in water or catchesfire, you are more likely to be conscious and therefore ableto escape than if youare unconscious because you have struck your head on some part of the car.Seat belts need to be warn by all occupants whether they are in the front or rearof the car, especially young children or babies. A rear seat passenger who is notwearing a seat belt, could become a missile and kill the front occupants as well as
  2. 2. themselves. 6 % of front seat fatalities are caused by unrestrained rear seatpassengers.Seat belts can cause minor injuries such as abrasions, muscle strains, bruises andwhiplash but these do not compare with the more serious complaints offractures, head injuries, paralysis and death.Sharing a seat belt is ineffective as well as against the law. This appliesparticularly to people nursing babies and young children, who can be crushed tothe death by the force of an adults body in a crash.Start collecting some newspaper articles of accidents that have occurredrecently. So you can bring them in for week 4.Some FactsK A) As a passenger, what can you do to help a young driver be safe?Safe CyclingBicycle riders should always:Wear an Australian Standards approved helmetPass other vehicles on the left, except when those vehicles are indicating andturning leftStopping at red lights or Stop signsGive way as indicated by signageUse hand signals when changing direction to the rightGive way to pedestrians using crossingsKeep to the left and give way to pedestrians when using a shared pathBicycle riders should not:Ride on footpathsunless the bike rider is under 12 years of ageor they are an accompanying a rider under 12 years of age
  3. 3. Drink alcohol and rideEven if you are an experienced rider, you are exposed and vulnerable in the roadenvironment and are at risk of serious injury or death if involved in a crash.Riding defensively and scanning the road can improve your safety. Learning howto share the road safely could save you your life.LegislationUnder NSW law, children less than 12 years of age and an accompanying adult ifsupervising a child, are allowed to legally ride on the footpath. This law wasintroduced because, whilst young children quickly develop skills required toride, steer and stop a bicycle, their development limitations preclude the child’scapacity to ride on a road shared with moving vehicles. The child rider’slimitations may result in unpredictable and unsafe behaviour, though the childmay have mastered a range of physical riding skills.Under NSW law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and subject to the same roadrules as other vehicles. Find out more about the Road Rules.Tips for riding your bicycle safely•Always wear an approved bicycle helmet, properly fitted and fastened to yourhead. For further information on bicycle helmets, click here.•Always obey the road rules, including traffic lights, stop signs and give waysigns.•Ride in a predictable manner that does not require other road users to reactsuddenly to your movements.•Give hand signals when changing lanes or turning left or right.•Make yourself as visible as possible by wearing bright, light or reflectiveclothing.•Plan your route using quieter streets, bicycle paths or shared paths, whereverpossible.•Maintain control of your bike at all times. It is an offence to ride with both handsoff the handlebars, feet off the pedals or to carry anything which prevents youfrom having control.
  4. 4. To find further information about Bicycles please refer to myResources found atwww.rta.nsw.gov.au/myrta/myresources.Bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers andmotorcycle riders. When driving, be on the look out for bicycle riders as they aresmaller than cars and harder to see.Tips when driving near bicycle riders•Bicycle riders are more difficult to see than cars or trucks, especially at night.Take care to check for bicycle riders in blind spots.•When overtaking give bicycle riders a safe amount of space. This means at leastone metre to the side in a 50 km/h zone, if the speed limit is higher, then bicycleriders need more space for their safety.•Always check for bicycle riders whenever you travel on the road particularlywhen turning at intersections.•Sometimes a bicycle can travel as fast or faster than a car, particularly in slow-moving traffic. Never underestimate their speed and be sure not to cut them offby moving in front of them. Remember that it takes longer for a bicycle to stopthan a car at the same speed.•Check in your rear view and side mirrors to avoid opening your car door intothe path of bicycle riders. This can be dangerous and legally your fault.•At times bicycle riders may need a full width lane to ride safely due to roughroad edges and gravel. Be prepared to slow down and allow the rider to travelaway from the kerb.•Children on bikes can be unpredictable – be prepared to slow down and stop.•Bicycle riders are allowed to ride two abreast, (side by side).http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/bicycles/index.htmlFor young children to be able to play safely, an adult needs to supervise themclosely and actively.You need to make sure children are in a safe place to play, such as a backyard,fenced park or recreational area. They should always be supervised by an adult.Roads, carparks, footpaths and driveways are never safe places to play.
  5. 5. A young child’s skull is soft and easily injured. So whenever children are ridingwheeled toys or bicycles, it is important that they are wearing a correctly fittedand Australian Standards Approved helmet. This is an adult’s responsibility.When buying a helmet:•Take the child to the shop with you, to make sure the helmet fits properly.•It should sit two child finger widths above the child’s eyebrows, and be neithertoo tight nor too loose.•It should not be too heavy for the child’s head and neck to carry.Young children who wear helmets from the moment they start riding their firstwheeled toy will be safer from head injury, and are more likely to continue thepractice throughout their lives. Use these road safety messages:•“No helmet, no bike.”•“When everyone has their helmet and shoes on, we can ride our bikes.”•“If anyone isn’t wearing their helmet or shoes properly, we’ll put the bikesaway.”When supervising children, use these opportunities to talk to them about:•How helmets and enclosed shoes keep us safe.•Why we must ride and play away from traffic - for instance, in the backyard orat the bike track.•Why footpaths and driveways are never safe places to play.•Why young children can never ride their bikes, scooters or skates without anadult closely supervising them.
  6. 6. Scooters and motorised toys also need to be supervised closely by an adult. Theyare harder to control and can put children into danger quicklySafe PlayChildren can dart into traffic very quickly when distracted by games they areplaying. Where possible children should play in a fenced yard or park and besupervised by an adult at all times. Driveways are unsafe areas for children toplay. Use these road safety messages:•“Always play in the backyard”•“Dont play in the driveway”•“Never follow your ball onto the road”Make some family rules about safe play, talk about them with the children andthen stick to them - every time they are using bikes, trikes or scooters.39 byciclists were killed on the roads in 2006 – 11 (28%) of these deaths wereyoung people and all of them were males.Bicycles are legitimate vehicles and cyclists have rights and responsibilities likeany other road user. Check the bike is first road worthy they should have - an effective hand or foot operated rear wheel brake - a red light reflector on the rear - between sunset and sunrise they should have a white front light and rear red light showing which is unbroken or flashing - also yellow reflectors fitted to each pedal for night or poor weather riding - handle bars are not loose and are aligned with the front wheel axle - make sure a warning device is attached (e.g. horn or bell)safety considerations - helmet - Bright, reflective clothing is recommended - Know the appropriate hand signals and make them clear - Follow the rules of the roundabout like a car - Use a hook turn when going right at an intersection - Keep left - Don’t slip stream or pace behind a moving vehicle
  7. 7. - Don’t hold onto a moving vehicle (its against the law)MotorcyclistsMost drivers simply don’t see them because they aren’t looking for motorcycles.They are also harder to see than other vehicles. They are small, can blend ineasily with the surroundings and can accelerate much faster than vehiclestherefore its hard to judge their approaching speed.In 2006, 238 motorcyclists (both riders and pillions) were killed on the roads,young people accounted for 74 (31%) of these deaths. Nearly all the youngmotorcyclists killed were males (96%).On a distance of travelled basis, the death rate of motorcyclists is very high –between 1998 and 202 the death rate per kilometre travelled was between 18and 25 times that of a motor vehicle occupant. This is because of two keyreasons: 1) as a group, they are more likely to take risks. This is especially so for young riders; and 2) They do not have the physical protection that motor vehicle occupants have.(safety equipment)Pedestrian SafetyWhen out walking with children, hold their hand or hold them close. This is themost effective way of keeping children safe from traffic injury.If you hold onto children, you can stop them running into a situation that mightbe dangerous. But sometimes a child doesn’t want to be held. What do you do?Don’t worry – all children complain about holding hands at one time or another.Sometimes they don’t understand how this will keep them safe or they may justwant to do it their way. By making family rules about safe walking, explaining
  8. 8. them and then sticking to them, you are helping your child learn how to becomea safer pedestrian.Use these road safety messages:•“Whenever we are out walking, we hold hands.”•“If we can’t hold hands, you can keep close by holding onto me, the bag or thestroller.”•“There’s no running ahead.”When holding your child’s hand, use the opportunity to talk with the child about:•Where it is safe to walk and cross the road.•When it is safe to walk and cross the road.•The need to stop and wait at the side of the road before crossing.•What to look for.•What to listen for.•Why they have to keep checking until they are safely across the road or thedriveway.Pedestrians still account for a lihgskjdfhsdifs of all road fatalities with malesaccounting for most fatalities and serious injuries. People aged 60yearsaccounted for 16% of serious injury while representing only 16% of thepopulation.Prevention strategies - Always cross at a pedestrian crossing if one is available - Be aware of your surroundings, whenever you cross, even at lights - Always stop, look and listen and keep looking as you cross - Always hold the hand of a child under the age of 5 years when crossing a road - Never cross a road on a bend or curve - Ensure that you have a clear view in all directions - Be alert, never assume that a driver has seen you or intends to stop - Wear bright coloured clothing, especially at nightChildren safety
  9. 9. Children tend to focus on one task at a time and ignore other things that arehappening around them. E.g. they follow a ball onto the road because they wantthe ball now, not thinking to look for traffic. They are full of energy thereforetheir speed can put them in dangerous places in seconds. They don’t notice roadsafety warnings as they have little understanding of it. They can’t judge speedand distance of cars properly, they cant judge safe gaps and this can makecrossing the roads very dangerous for them. Children don’t notice things out ofthe corner of their eye therefore they wont notice an approaching car. Childrenare small and cant see over parked cars. Children are easily distracted. Childrenmay become confused and panic when there is a sudden change in trafficconditions.Road traffic accidentsStatisticsDifferences between males and femalesSpeedingEach year in NSW there are approximately 8000 speed related accidents, with50% of these accidents involving young people under the age of 25 years. Of theaccidents that resulted in one or more deaths, 50% involved a young driver.Contributions factors - Vehicles factors: 5-10 per cent - Road factors: 10-20 per cent - Human factors: 90 per centWhen the human factors are broken down, they indicate that speeding is themajor cause of accidents, especially when it occurs in conjunction with fatigueand alcohol. Speeding is a major factor in the risk of being involved in a crash andin the severity of the crash. Speeding gives you less time to react to danger thatmight be beyond your control.The energy involved is not just proportional to the speed. Doubling the speed ofthe impact multiplies the damage to you, the vehicle and others involved by fourtimes.The distance it takes to stop is calculated on the speed at which you aretravelling and varies depending on the weather conditions, as it takes longer to
  10. 10. stop on wet roads. To ensure you have plenty of time to stop you should allowthree seconds gap between you at the car ahead, 5 second gap in wet weather.The posted speed limit is the maximum speed at which you can travel undergood road and weather conditions. These speeds should be adjusted according toyour driving skills, your experience and the efficiency of the vehicle. There isclear evidence to suggest that speed limits do save lives.Excessive speed is not the only cause of speed related accidents. Sometimes youcan be travelling at the posted speed and still get into trouble. Common sense isalways essential.Some situations where a driver should slow down regardless of the speed limitare: - Approaching corners or curves - Near railway level crossings - On narrow winding roads - Near schools and preschools - Near bus stops - In heavy traffic - In local streets and near playgrounds and parks where children play - In poor visibility - In poor weather conditions - In car parks - When using a shared roadway with pedestrians and bike ridersEveryone needs to pick a risk in driving and do a one page summary of what it is,how is it a risk and what is being done or what can you suggest to do to make theroad safer of it. (all of them need to be address at least once.)then we willpresent the findings to the class.Risks in drivingTaking the busAlcoholIllicit drugsPrescription medicineSeat beltsVehicle lights and visibilityDriver fatigueNight drivingSocial conditions
  11. 11. vehicle conditiondriver characteristicsweather conditionsrural drivingobjects on the roadroad surfacespeer pressureroad ragePedestriansChildren observe the environment differently, not only are they seeingeverything from a lower viewpoint, they also have not yet developed necessaryabilities such as judging speed and distance, making lifesaving decisions andunderstanding danger, which is a necessity for their road safety.In 2006, 227 pedestrians were killed on the roads, young people accounted for55% (24%) of these deaths.Child pedestrian deaths and injuries increase with age, particularly whenschooling commences – the time at which children begin to travel independently.Most child pedestrian deaths result from an error made by the child.In 2006 335 passengers were killed on the roads – young people accounted for183 (55%) of these deaths. Passenger deaths and injuries tend to be especiallyhigh among 16-19 year olds because they often spend a lot of time travelling aspassengers – rather than driving, walking or bicycling – and they often travel invehicles driven by young drivers.Devise and demonstrate a plan to assume responsibility for their road safety andthat of other usersExplore road safety statistics to analyse differences in road related injury
  12. 12. Defining risk factors and behaviours in a range of road environments andsituationsInfluences on pedestrian, passenger and wheeled device behaviours.What is some of the ways we can reduce these risks - walking - riding - driving - bus - train - pedestrian - passangerwhy do you think people get a buzz from speeding?Why do some people have to show off when they get behind the wheel, especiallywhen they have a group of friends in the car? How can you reduce this urge?Are there comparisons to be made between teenage male and female drivers,especially where speed is concerned? Does either sex have a positive influenceon the other?Reference:Lees, R., & Lees, A. (2006) Personal development, health and physical education(3rd ed.). 82 waterloo Road, North Ryde NSW 2113: Mcgraw-Hill Australia PtyLtd.Healey, J. (2004) Road Safety (Vol 204) PO Box 438 Thirroul NSW 2515Australia: The Spinney Press.Healey, J. (2009) Safe Driving (Vol 298). PO Box 438 Thirroul NSW 2515Australia: The Spinney Press.http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/index.html

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