What drivers can’t see on the road

A red and white circular sign with a 20 speed limit showing. Drivers can't see invisible disability. Here’s a call to traffic planners. A group in the UK is calling for slower speed limits on roads to help reduce pedestrian accidents. They list all the conditions where slower speeds could make a difference and allow people to cross the road safely. Drivers can’t see if someone has anxiety, dementia, post traumatic stress or sleep disorder. Traffic can make them feel vulnerable and fearful. 20 miles per hour equates to 30 km per hour. 

People who are deaf or hard of hearing, and people with low vision are also at risk of accidents. Pregnant women, older people, and people with prosthetic legs or chronic illness might not be spotted either. Even if they are, it is unlikely to change driver behaviour or alertness. The 20’s Plenty for Us media release links their call to the disability rights agenda which requires equitable treatment for everyone. Traffic planners should therefore assume everyone is vulnerable.

“At first sight it’s impossible to tell if someone has a mental health problem – anxiety, dementia, post traumatic stress or sleep disorder. Yet sufferers are vulnerable and fearful. Also the partially sighted, hearing impaired, those with a prosthetic leg, cancer, the elderly or pregnant women have protected characteristics not obvious at a distance from a driver’s seat behind a windscreen.”

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