gdriving in a state of intoxication and excess speed but also distraction, aggression, superficiality. There are many causes of road accidents that occur on our roads, 7 out of 10 in inhabited centres. And their number is increasing, according to Istat: in 2021 there were more than 150,000, 28.4% more than the previous year. And unfortunately, according to statistics, many victims are very young to the point that road accidents are the leading cause of death among young people. A real scourge for our country, which must be fought by increasing controls and punishing those responsible but also by promoting a culture of safety and good manners. A gentle mobility.
Road accidents, scooters and other “smart” vehicles
Scooters zigzagging in the opposite direction, e-bikes crossing a red light, shared-cars on the cycle paths. According to the latest Istat report, in fact, the number of fatal accidents (+33%) linked to “smart” vehicles deemed safe and sustainable is growing. The most affected areas are, quite obviously, the big cities: Rome, Milan and Turin mostly. About a third of total deaths involve pedestrians or bicycles. Scooters, on the other hand, were involved in 3% of the total accidents. Furthermore, in 2021 alone there were 235 fatal accidents among scooter and bicycle drivers (+33% compared to the previous year). And on foot? the mortality rate for citizens walking slowly is 4.6 times even higher than the mortality rate for car occupants (0.7 out of 100).
Why are we all a little ruder on the street?
Even if they don’t degenerate into road accidents, there are many detestable behaviors that, when we’re in the car or on the bike, we simply allow ourselves. “Unknowingly, when you are on the street you think you are entering a property area and a whole series of social criteria are defused», says the psychoanalyst Vera Slepoj. «The car, the bicycle, the scooter, the motorbike become the home, a sort of estrangement from the outside world: in the car we talk, argue, eat, sleep».
With even dangerous consequences. «There is a limited vision of the risks, a sort of ignorance linked to the use of the means. Driving aggression is the extension of an individual’s subjective aggression. The tendency not to control these stages is very high,” continues Slepoj.
The attitudes most hated by those who move around the city
The attitudes most hated and considered dangerous by those who move around the city have become the subject of investigation: according to an online survey conducted on 1200 Italians by Authoriality for Dentsu Creative, for example, for men it is unacceptable see cars or shared vehicles parked on sidewalks and crosswalks (34%). Coming across people on scooters zigzagging in the middle of the roadway (29%), cyclists outside their dedicated lanes, perhaps side by side (26%). Women, on the other hand, would be more annoyedand by those who get on public transport without giving way (43%), and by those who abandon smart vehicles shared outside the city (35%). From the same survey also emerge Italian cities where mobility is more “rude” according to citizens: Rome takes first place (61%), ahead of Milan (59%) and Naples (55%), closing the top 5 Turin (52%) and Bari (47%).
From Paris to San Francisco, initiatives for gentle mobility
Many initiatives to promote gentle mobility, or “gentle mobility”, around the world. For instance Paris structured the “15-minute city” project: a 360° urban redevelopment that offers citizens the opportunity to carry out all their daily activities within 15 minutes on foot or by bicycle. The same initiative also provides for the construction of an additional 180 km of cycle paths and 180,000 bicycle parking spaces by 2026.
In Colombia, a Bogotawhere a named schedule is applied on Sundays and public holidays Cycle path which prohibits cars from circulating in some areas on Sundays and public holidays: in this way part of the metropolis is freed from traffic and this attracts more than one and a half million people along the car-free routes, including cyclists, pedestrians and joggers .
It’s still, San Franciscoduring the pandemic, launched the initiative Slow Streets which used signs and barriers to limit car traffic along 30 routes in an effort to make them more pedestrian and cyclist friendly. According to what was collected by the city, there was a 50% reduction in vehicular traffic and, at the same time, an increase in both pedestrians (+17%) and cyclists (+65%) on weekdays.
In Milan, a contest for students
But it is also worth mentioning smaller initiatives, such as the Dentsu Creative Comes to Town: a contest open to students of communication schools and masters in advertising disciplines from all over Italy for the implementation of a campaign on gentle mobility (winners below). «A theme still little explored and communicated, and coherent with our idea of creativity not an end in itself, but capable of creating culture, bringing benefit to society and where possible, inventing the future», he explains Emmanuel NennaCEO & Chairman of Dentsu Creative.
The Decalogue of Gentle Mobility
Where to start, then, in our little one? From a few simple rules: these, developed by a panel of experts including the psychoanalyst Vera Slepoj. Trivial to say but if we adopted them all road accidents would drop drastically.
1) Drive in optimal psychophysical conditions: serenity and tranquility they are essential to get on the road to drive a vehicle.
2) Have knowledge and sense of responsibility: when driving any vehicle, be aware of what you are doing, acting with full respect for other drivers or pedestrians.
3) Drive your vehicle carefully e caution: knowing and respecting the rules of the road is essential to move around safely.
4) Prefer sustainable means: when travelling, it is possible to make environmentally friendly choices, such as preferring to travel on public transport or choosing to move on foot or by bicycle, thus helping to lower harmful emissions into the air.
5) Park only in the spaces allowed: Never leave your vehicle in unauthorized areas; in addition to violating the rules of the road, it is possible that you also get in the way of others.
Liability for road accidents
6) Avoid transiting with your vehicle where it is not allowed: avoid cycling on the sidewalk or driving your car in pedestrian areas; in addition to risking fines, you can get into accidents with other pedestrians or drivers.
7) Report movements/lane changes: the road is not our property; always needed signal to others when you decide to change lane or entering/leaving a seat.
8) Give the precedence on public transport: if you travel on public transport, always guarantee seats for the weakest age groups such as the elderly, pregnant women and children.
9) Leave the shared medium in an area that does not obstruct traffic: when you leave a sharing vehicle, you must leave it in a place that does not obstruct traffic and is easily found by another user.
10) Do not litter and do not smoke if traveling in company: on public transport as well as by carwhen traveling with others it is necessary to pay attention to shared spaces and not to annoy others with one’s actions.
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