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This weekend (Sunday 28 October 2018) the clocks go back one hour to mark the official end of British Summer Time.
While many of us will enjoy the extra hour in bed on Sunday morning, it’s important to remember that the shorter days and darker evenings could pose a greater accident risk, particularly for schoolchildren.
According to road safety charity Brake, casualty rates peak between 5pm and 6pm for adults and 3.30pm-4.30pm for children. These times coincide with evening rush hour and school runs which are already dangerous due to volume of traffic but are even more perilous when journeys are made in the dark.
Research has shown that serious and fatal pedestrian accidents increase by 10% in the four weeks after the clocks go back[i].
Schoolchildren are particularly vulnerable at this time of year as the evenings get darker and the weather becomes wintrier.
It’s vital that children understand the dangers of not being seen by drivers as they walk home from school.
The advice to parents is to ensure children are as visible as possible walking to and from school by wearing bright or fluorescent clothing and using reflective tape on their jackets or school bags if they are not already reflective.
Children should also be reminded to stick to well-lit routes and cross the road where there is plenty of street lighting and where it is safe to do so.
Next week, the Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT) is running a fantastic campaign called GloWeek to highlight the importance of children being bright and being seen once the clocks change and the evenings get darker earlier.
All next week during GloWeek 2018, CBIT’s Child and Family Support Coordinators will be running awareness sessions in schools to reinforce the message to children that they should be seen and not hurt.
It is hoped that in addition to highlighting road safety messages, Gloweek 2018 will also help to raise funds for the vital work that the Child Brain Injury Trust does providing emotional and practical support, information and learning opportunities for families and professionals affected by childhood acquired brain injury across the UK.
To learn more about the Child Brain Injury Trust visit: www.childbraininjurytrust.org.uk.
[i] Improving Road Safety for Pedestrians and Cyclists in Great Britain, National Audit Office, 2009