'Safe and Healthy with Sustainable Mobility' is the slogan chosen by the European Commission to celebrate European Mobility Week 2021 (16-22 September), which this year focuses on 'Sustainable, healthy and safe mobility'. The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has marked a turning point across the globe and, of course, it has also changed the way we see the world and the way we move around.
The Commission focuses on both physical and mental health, linked to sustainable ways of getting around. The global health crisis resulting from COVID-19 has changed the way we live, the way we think and, of course, the way we travel. It calls for more sustainable, healthier and safer means of transport, marking a way forward in terms of our mobility.
On the one hand, mobility directly affects our mental health and well-being. We need to move around in order to maintain our social relations, enjoy our leisure time, and so on... The ability to get around has always been very important for a healthy and satisfactory life. But the way we do it also has a direct effect on our physical health. That is why walking and cycling are being encouraged. Reducing traffic directly contributes to the well-being of the population by reducing environmental pollution. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 376,000 premature deaths occur annually in the European Union and the United Kingdom due to causes directly related to fine particle pollution.
Fortunately, more and more countries and cities are committing to sustainable mobility by encouraging, for example, the use of more efficient and less polluting means of transport, such as bikes and public transport, and by promoting pedestrianised areas and green spaces. This mobility, as well as being low- or non-polluting, must be safe. It is important to bear in mind that traffic accidents are avoidable.
-Choose low- or non-polluting modes of travel such as cycling or public transport. Whenever possible, make your journeys on foot. It is good for your health and the environment.
-When making these journeys, ensure that they are as safe as possible by implementing the principal precautionary measures, such as wearing a seat belt or helmet and avoiding anything that could lead to an accident: excessive speed, distractions, lack of a safe distance...
-Town councils, companies, and institutions should all promote and encourage this type of mobility.
-Encourage this form of mobility among family members and acquaintances. More and more people are looking at how they get around and how they can do it safely and with as little pollution as possible.
At Fundación MAPFRE we have created the Safe Mobility Manual which focuses specifically on getting around sustainably, healthily and safely. Being well informed is the first step towards the mobility we want to achieve and, therefore, here we offer you some information and advice on this new way of getting around. Undoubtedly, this is something that we must transmit to our young people by setting an example of how to make this mobility safer, healthier and more sustainable.