More than 90 per cent of road crashes in Oxfordshire are caused by four factors and the authorities want to warn drivers that they are not invincible.
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s campaign It’s Not Worth the Risk aims to raise awareness of the ‘fatal four’ – not wearing a seatbelt, distraction, speed, drink and drugs.
For the campaign’s launch today (Wednesday, March 27) safety roadshows will be at service stations across the county, including Cherwell Valley at junction ten of the M40.
More roadshows will be taking place over the next month, with temporary road signs reminding people to drive responsibly.
Andy Ford, fire service road safety manager, said: “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 killers for drivers, their passengers, other road users and pedestrians. But, in most cases, these deadly collisions are avoidable.”
Drivers and passengers are twice as likely to die in a crash if they are not wearing a seatbelt and 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, including diverting calls to the messenger service, safely pulling over to take a call and asking a passenger to speak.
Research shows that for every mile-per-hour increase in speed, there is a three per cent increase in risk of road traffic collision.
Many crashes happen because the driver loses control, particularly on bends or in wet or ice conditions, according to the fire service.
Drinking alcohol and driving puts all road users in danger, the only safe option is not to drink alcohol, the fire service said.
There are always safe alternatives such as taking a taxi, bus or train; designating a ‘dry’ driver, walking home or deciding to stay overnight.
Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for community safety Judith Heathcoat said: “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 www.365alive.co.uk/fatalfour.