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Should road users think twice about their commuting today?

Road users will be more at risk of an accident today (Friday) than any other day of the week, especially now that the clocks have gone back. Known as ‘Fatal Friday Phenomenon’, statistics show that more accidents happen on a Friday, and particularly between the hours of 4pm and 6pm, than at any other time. The statistics also show that the number of accidents jumps by up to a fifth in the winter compared to the summer.

As National Commute Smart Week, which started on Sunday when summer time ended, draws to a close, road users and pedestrians are being warned to be extra careful by Work Wise UK, the organisation behind the awareness campaign to promote alternatives to the 9 to 5 daily grind, five days per week. Chief executive Phil Flaxton said: “Now that the clocks have gone back, many people will be travelling both to and from work in the dark.

“A combination of the end of a long and tiring working week with the rush to get the weekend started will result in some people being a little more careless than usual. Road users need to take care today, especially in the late afternoon.”

Analysis of the Government statistics - 'Road Casualties Great Britain 2006' - reveals that there was a 12 per cent increase in the number of car users killed or seriously injured, from 1211 in October to 1340 in November. The number of pedestrians killed during the winter months showed a greater rise, being 20 per cent higher than in the summer: 339 were killed during BST, whereas 404 died during the winter.

National Commute Smart Week has aimed to encourage the wider adoption of smarter commuting, promoting more home working and more flexible working. More people working from home more often will reduce the overall requirement to travel, reducing traffic congestion and public transport over crowding, whereas allowing more flexible working will enable commuters to avoid peak times, easing the strain when congestion and overcrowding are at their height.

Phil Flaxton continued: “With less people travelling, and peak times less busy, it must impact upon accident rates and reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.”

According to RoSPA, by working from home, workers are at less risk of an accident - 20 people are killed and 250 seriously injured every week in crashes involving someone who was driving, riding or otherwise using the road for work purposes.

National Commute Smart Week was organised by Work Wise UK, the Government-backed not-for-profit campaigning body with members that include the TUC, CBI, British Chambers of Commerce, BT, Transport for London, Association for Commuter Transport and the RAC Foundation.

Transport for London (TfL) promotes smarter working to help manage demand on the capital’s transport network. TfL has teamed up with Work Wise UK to produce a Smarter Working Guide to support employers with practical guidance on creating, implementing and improving smarter working within their organisations,

Further details about Work Wise UK can be found on the website (www.workwiseuk.org).

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Issued on behalf of Work Wise UK by Chelgate Limited

Notes to editors:

· Hardcopy and electronic versions of the Smarter Working Guide are available from Transport for London. Please email worktp@tfl.gov.uk or call 020 7126 3229 to order a copy.

· Work Wise UK is organised by the IT Forum Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation.

· Supporters of the Work Wise UK campaign include the CBI, TUC, the British Chambers of Commerce, BT, Transport for London, Equal Opportunities Commission, Scope, the RAC Foundation, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, Technology Means Business, Henley Management College and the Association for Commuter Transport.

· Further information about Work Wise UK can be found on the website www.workwiseuk.org.

· A dedicated electronic media centre has been established for journalists to obtain further information, to download print-quality materials, and to register for media updates about Work Wise UK. This can be accessed either through the main website or directly at www.workwiseuk.pressrooms.net.

For further information and images, please contact:

Roy Turner, Chelgate PR, 020 7939 7939 or 07970 522 232 or rt@chelgate.com

Michael Hardware, Chelgate PR, 020 7939 7939 or 07775 925 274 or meh@chelgate.com


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