22 fatalities on Essex roads this year so far!

There has been an alarming increase in fatalities during the first three months of 2016.

police accident

Although a lower than average number of fatalities (2) were recorded in January, the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) is currently aware of 20 fatalities recorded during February and March. When comparing these 22 fatalities for the first three months of 2016 to an average of 11 for the same period over the past 5 years, we can we see an increase of 100%. SERP conducts analysis of collision data to inform the people of Essex on collision trends to provide useful information on how to avoid having a serious or deadly collision on our roads.

Compared to fatalities recorded in 2015 there has been a notable increase in car occupant fatalities, with 14 of the 22 fatalities being car occupants. Whilst in-depth Police investigations are ongoing initial reports suggest there are two dominant causes for recent car driver and occupant fatalities.

Head-on collisions

This is when one vehicle has crossed into opposing traffic. Six people have died and 48 have been seriously injured in this type of collision this year so far. In some cases there is an apparent loss of control before the crossover, suggesting excess speed. However in many cases there is no apparent reason for the crossover, leading us to believe that in-car distractions are the most likely explanation for many of these incidents.

Loss of control

= 5These typically involve a vehicle leaving the road and hitting a tree or other hard object, which may suggest excess speed and/or in car distractions as a likely underlying cause. So far this year 5 people have been killed and 50 have been seriously injured in this type of collision. The common contributing factor is being distracted. Most common distractions are mobile phones (including hands free), not paying attention to changing road conditions, passengers and car console controls (radio and air conditioning).

Driving a car is a task which requires a driver’s full attention. You may need to remind your passengers of this.

The best way not to be distracted by your phone is to simply turn it off and put it out of sight. This is one small change that could save your life.

We would also like to take this opportunity to offer our condolences to those families, friends and colleagues who have lost loved ones during this difficult time.

Please visit the Safer Essex Roads website for further road safety information – https://saferessexroads.org/road-users/advice/mobile-phones/

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