Didcot car cut shows Oxfordshire drivers why ‘it’s not worth the risk’

VIDEO - car crash exercise

A dramatic car crash rescue exercise by Dicot firefighters has highlighted the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, taking drink or drugs, and distraction.

Journalists volunteered to role-play occupants in a crumpled vehicle, at the town’s fire station.

You can watch That's Oxfordshire TV's dramatic news report here.

They experienced the claustrophobia of being trapped inside, relying on the expertise of Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service to cut them free.

Andy Ford, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s road safety manager, said:

“It’s terrifying enough being trapped, but imagine if you’ve suffered major injury, or if the vehicle is ablaze, or slowly submerging in water following a crash into a river or lake.

“Firefighters attend too many such incidents, many resulting in life-changing injuries or death for the vehicle occupants.”

The car cut demonstration is the latest phase of the ‘It’s not worth the risk’ road safety campaign, highlighting four contributory factors in over 90% of road traffic collisions across the county.

The campaign promotes straightforward steps to reduce risk of death and injury on the road. It is part of the thriving communities initiative to help people live safe and healthy lives.

Temporary signs have appeared throughout the county over the past couple of months, reminding drivers of the fatal four:

  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Distraction
  • Speed
  • Drink and drugs

Drivers and passengers are twice as likely to die in a crash if they are not wearing a seatbelt.

Even careful drivers can be distracted, by a phone call, text message, in car technology, or a Satnav. A split-second lapse of concentration could result in a crash.

Using a mobile when driving increases the chances of a crash by four times.

The campaign promotes safe alternatives for drivers who rely on their phones. This includes, diverting calls to the messenger service. Having a no calls rule when driving, pulling over when safe to do so, but not on the motorway hard-shoulder. Passengers could also be asked to make or take calls instead of the driver.

The faster someone drives, the less time they have to stop when the unexpected happens. Research shows that for every mile-per-hour increase in speed, there is a three percent increase in risk of road traffic collision.

Many crashes happen because the driver loses control, particularly on bends or in wet or ice conditions. Drive for the road conditions and give time to react by reducing speed. The difference of a few miles per hour could mean the difference between life and death.

Drinking alcohol and driving puts all road users in danger. The only safe option is not to drink alcohol. It’s not worth the risk, and there are always safe alternatives such as taking a taxi, bus or train; designating a ‘dry’ driver, walking home or deciding to stay overnight.

Andy Ford, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s road safety manager, continued:

“Oxfordshire has more rural roads than most counties. And Oxford city centre more cyclists per head of population than most other towns and cities. This means drivers must be alert, drive sensibly, safely and share the risk, from the moment they turn the ignition key.

“The fatal four are contributory factors in the deaths of drivers, their passengers, other road users and pedestrians. But, in most cases, these deadly collisions are avoidable.

“If you cause a collision, it can result in life-changing injuries to you, and to anyone else involved. You will also carry the terrible guilt, and for what? For the sake of a lunchtime drink, a phone-call, or saving a bit of time? It really isn’t worth the risk.”

For further information about the Fatal Four and how to drive safely, visit the website: www.365alive.co.uk/fatalfour