Road Safety Week 2014

Southern Car Buyers considers itself to be an authority on road safety, so with the national campaign Road Safety Week steadily approaching it’s only right that we celebrate the good cause by highlighting important safety information for road users and pedestrians.

We have chosen to highlight the most remarkable ways in which vehicle safety has evolved over the last 10 years, offering a glimpse into innovative and ingenuous inventions that can be seen in cars and on bicycles.

This year’s theme is ‘Look out for each other.’ RSW will be “particularly calling on drivers to protect people on foot and bike by slowing down to 20 in communities, looking longer and taking it slow at junctions and bends, and giving people plenty of room.

View the infographic below and don’t forget to share the road safety tips.

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2004 – Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)

Back in the early stages of the 21st century, Volvo introduced the world’s first blind spot warning system. The breakthrough system utilises reversing cameras and motion sensors to assist drivers when parking or switching lanes to avoid potential collisions.

2004 – Bicycle helmet legislation

In 2004, UK Parliament took road safety seriously when passing through a bill for the wearing of bicycle helmets compulsory.

2005 – Pop-up bonnets

As a consideration for reducing both pedestrian and cyclist injuries, pop-up bonnets became available, spearheaded by Citroen and Jaguar. Technology dictates that if a car hits a person, sensors set off bonnet lifters to raise the bonnet. The result is greater space between the bonnet and car engine to absorb the impact, which can limit the severity of injury sustained to the pedestrian.

2011 – Pedestrian detection

Volvo remained a figurehead for road safety when in 2011 it released pedestrian detection that combines radar and cameras to detect when people are in the way of your vehicle. Relying on auto-brake technology, the car stops automatically if the driver fails to manually brake in time. Auto-brake technology only works up to a speed of 30km/h as its main priority is emergency braking in low speed, densely-pedestrianized areas.

2011 – Adaptive Cruise Control

Around this time a new invention called Adaptive Cruise Control came about, using radar to adjust the car’s speed based on the car in front. This control monitor detects the distance and speed of the car ahead and sets out an appropriate distance between the two vehicles. A driver can modify the safe driving distance between the two vehicles with the push of a small button.

2014 – Glow in the dark motorways

Scientists and engineers in Holland have stumbled upon an obvious solution to poor night vision on motorways in order to improve vehicle safety. A trial for “glowing lines” technology has been piloted on the road and can be seen on the N329 in Oss, which is located 100km south east of Amsterdam. Painted markings absorb daylight and can glow for up to eight hours in the dark.

2014 – Brainy Bike Lights

Most recently, road cycling safety was given a helping hand with the introduction of Brainy Bike Lights, a technology-geared tactic that allows the cyclists to be seen easier by vehicle users and pedestrians crossing the road. This method works by: creating quicker and more accurate identification of cyclists via the bike symbol; speeding up reaction times in drivers; and triggering relevant associations in drivers’ minds, including vulnerability and recognition of the cyclist in view.

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“Half of all crash victims are vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists”
“Road traffic crashes cost countries up to 4% of their Gross National Product”
“Correctly used seat-belts reduce the risk of death in a crash by 61%”
“Enforcing a drinking and driving law around the world could reduce alcohol-related crashes by 20%”