Our 2000 miles of motorway are changing to accommodate the predicted 60 per cent increase in traffic expected by 2040. And that’s posing drivers with a different challenge when it comes to staying safe.
‘Smart’ motorways don’t have a traditional hard shoulder. In 2017, official figures show there were 16 crashes involving stationary vehicles on our 400 miles of smart motorway. There were 29 crashes on the hard shoulder across the rest of England’s motorways.
The stats also show that there’s been an increase in crashes on unlit sections of motorway. Here we look at what drivers should do for improved road safety.
Driving too close to the car in front increases the chances of crashing, the Highways Agency says (Picture iStock)
Are you guilty of tailgating or driving too close to the car in front? If you are, government agency Highways England warns it could only be a matter of time before you crash. It claims that one in eight accidents on motorways and A-roads is due to tailgating. It adds that about 100 people a year die because of vehicles following too closely.
This makes tailgating the third most likely cause of crashes in the UK. It comes behind failing to look properly and not judging another vehicle’s speed accurately. It’s such a problem that Highways England has launched a campaign to draw attention to it (below). Read on to find out why tailgating is so dangerous.
It’s a funny advert with a serious point. A family boards its flight for a holiday. Over the tannoy the pilot explains he hasn’t bothered making any pre-flight safety checks to the plane. Cue panicked faces and unbuckled seat belts as everyone scrambles to leave.
The ad has been produced for Highways England. The organisation, responsible for the safety and management of the nation’s main roads, is trying to raise awareness among drivers to perform safety checks to their car before every journey.
The logic is sound. Driving is inherently more dangerous than flying. So why would you get into a car without knowing that crucial things like its lights, wipers and tyres are all working or safe?
Let’s face it, driving can frequently be a tiring business. Little wonder that experts believe fatigue is a contributory factor to one-in-five accidents. The issue has become so serious that Highways England recently announced it will design roads with panoramic views and stimulating sculptures.
As part of its £15bn Road Investment Strategy, the organisation that runs Britain’s major highways wants to ensure roads help alleviate the monotony of a long journey. See what the experts have to say. And read on for tips to tackle tiredness when driving.
Electric car charging roads that will refuel battery-powered motors as they drive along are to be tested in the UK. The pilot project, a first in Britain, has been set up by the government’s Highways England. The aim is to boost the number of low emission vehicles on the road by making them easier to live with.
Electric car sales in the UK increased by 167 per cent in 2014, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The government wants to ensure this trend for switching to low emission vehicles continues. It’s investing £500m in alternative fuel transport technology over the next five years. Part of this will be on roads that can charge electric vehicles. In July 2015, Highways England published a feasibility study: Powering electric vehicles on England’s major roads. The testing of electric car charging roads result from that.
Electric car charging roads: How they’ll operate
The government’s plan is for major roads such as motorways and A-roads to feature the new charging technology. Trials will take place at a special testing facility later this year. Pure electric vehicles will be fitted with wireless technology enabling them to receive a charge on the move. Equipment installed beneath the road will generate an electromagnetic field to charge the cars. Continue reading →