Climate Change

Is The Cost Of living Crisis Affecting Safety On Our Roads?

New research from Brake and AXA UK shows 62% of drivers worry about the cost of vehicle repairs. How about Kenya?
New research into how the cost-of-living crisis affects road safety, released today by Brake and AXA UK, highlights tough decisions that people are facing every day when getting into their vehicles. As the cost-of-living crisis continues, Brake calls for essential measures to be put in place to protect everyone using roads.

  • 62% of people are concerned about being able to carry out timely repairs to their vehicle.
  • More than half of people worry about the cost of having their vehicle serviced.
  • 72% of people have chosen to walk or cycle short journeys that they used to do by car/motorcycle or public transport as a way to save money.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of drivers surveyed are worried about being able to afford timely repairs to their vehicles.

This increases to 84% of 17-24-year-olds, of whom a high proportion (71%) are likely to use their vehicles every day. This suggests that the vehicles on our roads are becoming increasingly unsafe as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

The report – ‘How the cost-of-living crisis affects road safety’ – released today (16 May 2023) by Brake and AXA UK, highlights tough decisions that people are facing every day when getting into their vehicles. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, one in 10 (10%) said they had driven or ridden their vehicles while there were warning lights on the dashboard, with a similar number (10%) also saying they had driven or ridden with a broken light in the dark.

Lucy Straker, Campaigns Manager at Brake, said: “It is clear to us that the cost-of-living crisis is having a detrimental effect on the safety of people on our roads. And as the cost-of-living crisis will not be resolved in the short term, it is essential that measures are put in place to protect everyone using the roads.

“Nearly three-quarters of people we surveyed said they had been walking, cycling and wheeling more as a way to save money. This increase coincides with the Government cutting the Active Travel budget by 50% this year. If they want people to make safe and healthy journeys, then this investment in safe pavements, segregated routes and improved cycle lanes must be reinstated.”

In addition, 18% of respondents said they had driven with known tyre defects as a way to save money. This is a 7% increase to the research conducted by Brake a decade previously, which indicates how behaviours towards these safety decisions have been forced to change.

Vehicle defects contribute to nearly 500 people being killed or seriously injured on UK roads every year. Plus, drivers can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get three penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Lucas Munene of Pamoja road safety initiative has this to say:

“This research was conducted in the UK, Pamoja’s Opinion is that the cost of living in Kenya has affected road safety in higher proportion that the UK. The Minister for Transport has said that the driver of the Matatu that killed students in Naivasha was on a suicide mission. With many people at risk of compromising their safety or worried they may have to due to the cost-of-living crisis, more must be done to improve the safety of everyone who travels on Kenya roads.” 

At Pamoja Road Safety Initiative, we promote sustainable, low-emission transport and work
to reduce the sector’s contribution to air pollution and climate change.

Many of the world’s road vehicles are still run on oil, readily available at refilling stations,
at a cost affordable by many people.

Collectively, these vehicles produce huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other
greenhouse gases (GHG), particularly from private cars and goods vehicles, contributing in a
major way to climate change:

The biggest problem: More Vehicles

The world is being further paved with roads and vehicles are filling them, with the global
car fleet predicted to triple by 2050 and goods vehicles also increasing rapidly (as populations and trade increases).

Factories are churning out vehicles to meet the demand. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of vehicles manufactured rose from about 60 million a year to about 90 million a year. Production of vehicles is in itself a hazard to our planet.Many vehicle factories are powered by energy obtained from coal power stations, which produce significant carbon dioxide.

While some new vehicles are more energy efficient than older vehicles, the gains are marginal. Between 2005 and 2013 new car fuel economy (rate of fuel consumption) improved little, and meanwhile most cars on the road are not new, and the global fleet continues to grow, cancelling out fuel economy gains.

It is estimated that fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 from the world’s cars will
roughly double between 2000 and 2050.

Regulations controlling fuel economy and emission levels of vehicles is inadequate in
many countries and non-existent in others.

What can be done?

Lots can be done. However, about 90% of submissions from nations to the Paris climate change talks in 2015 did not include targets for reducing emissions from road transport. Because of the predicted explosion of numbers of cars and goods vehicles, governments must urgently tackle carbon emissions from them by:

Governments must also:

Strides are being made in the development and use of bio fuels (including use of human sewage) and sustainably-sourced electricity and hydrogen. Governments must take the lead in providing such fuels that are safe, affordable and accessible through refuelling stations.

People, particularly those in high-income nations, can also make personal choices to drive less, consume less and consume local, in order to reduce personal and freight journeys.

Pamoja Road Safety Initiative has worked with Kenya Alliance of Residents Associations in programs promoting non-motorized transport in Nairobi city to tackle car dependence, reduce demand for motorized vehicles, and encourage modal shift towards cleaner forms of mobility.

The Safe System approach to reducing road traffic fatalities can also make a significant contribution to tackling climate change. In combination with a reimagining of urban design, it is possible to build a
future free from car dependency and with dramatically reduced road traffic casualties – a low carbon future that improves quality of life, and mobility, for all.

A multi-modal transportation system creates a safe, convenient, and comfortable environment that provides choice for people in how they want to move around in a community, whether by walking,
cycling, rolling, transit or driving.


Lucas Munene

Lucas Munene

Nostra dapibus varius et semper semper rutrum ad risus felis eros. Cursus libero viverra tempus netus diam vestibulum lorem tincidunt congue porta. Non ligula egestas commodo massa. Lorem non sit vivamus convallis elit mollis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Our Champions

Lucas Munene


Mijide Kemoli


Purity Mwaniki