Safety warning to drivers

A TOP police officer has today warned drivers that they cannot rely on their vehicles to fully protect them in a crash.The advice comes after a Renault van was reduced to a mangled piece of metal after it was in collision with a lorry on the A14 near Sproughton yesterday.

A TOP police officer has today warned drivers that they cannot rely on their vehicles to fully protect them in a crash.

The advice comes after a Renault van was reduced to a mangled piece of metal after it was in collision with a lorry on the A14 near Sproughton yesterday.

Fortunately the driver involved managed to escape with minor injuries.

Inspector Trevor Sharman of Suffolk Constabulary's Serious Collision Investigation Team urged motorists to take caution and be aware that no matter how well built their vehicle is, it may not prevent them getting injured.


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He said: “The emphasis is to make people realise that they may feel safe within the confines of a vehicle but at the end of the day, it is a thin piece of metal surrounded by a frame which can be reduced to very little on impact.

“Vehicles are designed to crumple on impact to minimise the force acting on the body within the vehicle. The body will still throw itself around on the vehicle, restrained or otherwise.

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“People should not feel their vehicle can afford them absolute protection.”

He added that although people can feel complacent within their vehicle, especially when they are fitted with things like airbags, serious injuries can still occur and the only way to reduce the risk of getting hurt is to drive carefully.

His safety message echoes the Save A Life campaign, which was run in conjunction with The Evening Star, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Fire Service, Suffolk SafeCam, East of England Ambulance Trust and the Highways Agency.

The driver of the van in yesterday's crash was taken to hospital for minor back injuries but onlookers claim it was lucky there were no other passengers as a whole section of the van was obliterated.

Derek Spall, of DJ Spall Recycling, in Dallinghoo, who was contacted by the police to recover the van, said: “It is a good job he did not have a passenger. If they had been someone in that side, I doubt they would have survived.

“It looked like someone had hit it with a cannon. Normally when you see a vehicle in that state, the person has not survived.”

For more information and advice about the ongoing campaign, visit www.suffolkroadsafe.net.

Have you been involved in an accident and want to thank the emergency services? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

The campaign run between September and December last year aimed to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on Suffolk's roads and focused on the issues including speeding, drink and drug driving, and driving while on a mobile phone.

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