A motivation to make savings and save energy has meant that a third of councils have switched off street lighting and nearly 50% are setting lights to lower brightness. However dark streets and roads could not only lead to increased crime, but could lead to increased road accidents and even fatalities.
A survey by the Campaign to protect Rural England said that street lighting across England costs local councils around £616 million pounds each year, therefore the motivation to make savings is huge. For example,
- Bradford Council is looking to save £400,000 annually by trialling a dimming scheme.
- Essex County Council is looking to generate savings of around £1,000,000 by a part time lighting scheme.
- North Somerset Council plans to make savings of £300,000 per year via a mixture of part time lighting and dimming schemes across the borough.
Driving at night compared to during the day is much more dangerous and leads to increased road accidents. According to the AA, only 25% of all car travel is made between 7pm and 8am, yet this time period accounts for 40% of all fatal and serious injuries. Further research showed that on unlit roads 4.9% of road accidents are fatal, compared to 3.1% on well lit roads. Plus the number of fatalities due to road accidents on unlit stretches of motorways is nearly double the fatality rate on properly lit stretches.
“Street lighting improves safety for drivers, riders and pedestrians,” commented Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at ROSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), “Accident rates should be monitored to ensure that sacrificing the quality of lighting does not unduly increase the risk.”
Falling asleep at the wheel
Government statistics show that tiredness and falling asleep at the wheel is one of the greatest risks at night – accounting for 20% of serious road accidents.
- If you do need to drive at night, plan your journey.
- Consider sharing driving if your journey is long.
- Try and avoid driving at times when you would usually be asleep.
- Ensure you are fully rested and take rest breaks at least every 2 hours.
- Do not ignore signs of tiredness – pull over as soon as is safe and drink strong coffee and take a short sleep.
- If you can, stay overnight to ensure you are fully rested.
- Ensure your vehicle lights are fully working – both front and rear.
- Be prepared and ensure you have a safe braking distance, allowing you to react to any hazards accordingly in the dark.
- If you drive as part of your job, ensure you are aware of your employer’s driver hours and safe driving policies.
Serious Road Accident Claims
Unfortunately, road accidents at night lead to very serious and nasty injury claims. If you’ve suffered serious injuries such as head or spinal injuries after a serious road accident, we have specialist solicitors who can help.
We have over 30 years’ experience helping serious accident victims. You will be assigned a specialist serious injury solicitor who will work quickly and with compassion to help you achieve the compensation and care you deserve.
To speak to one of our solicitors in confidence with no obligation, call free on 0800 612 7340 or use our online contact form and we’ll call you back to discuss your claim.
Freeclaim Solicitors. Road Accidents – Compensation Specialists.
Published: 6th May 2014