Staying safe on the roads: How to reduce your chances of claiming car accident compensationOctober 17, 2011
Approximately 40,000 serious road accidents occur in the UK every year, with 35,000 people involved being seriously injured, according to a recent report by the Office for National Statistics. In the busy modern world, it is increasingly important to understand the most common causes of car accidents and how you can minimize your risk of a crash. Many of the claims for car accident compensation in the last decade have been associated with external factors beyond the driver’s control, for example, extreme weather such as a rain, snow or hail or driving on unfamiliar roads. However, over half of these claims have been a result of human error: drink-driving or tiredness, for example. This article will help you to understand the most common causes of car accidents and how you can stay safe on the roads.
Wet roads cause a particular hazard for drivers of all ages and abilities. Certainly drivers in Great Britain will be well aware of the inconveniences of wet driving conditions, but few consider the serious implications of heavy rain. For example, in 2010, two teenage girls Rhiannon Davies, 18, and Jade Emanuel, 17, were killed in a motoring accident in South Wales due to poor weather conditions. There was believed to be large amount of water on the roads, with one witness describing the rainfall as “like a waterfall”. Such conditions can destabilise cars, resulting in dangerous, potentially fatal, accidents and troublesome car accident compensation claims. A particular concern for motorists in wet weather is “aquaplaning”. This can occur when a large mass of water has built up on the roads; vehicles that attempt to drive through this water at speed may find that they move over, rather than through, the flood, resulting in a loss of control of the vehicle.
Although they are less common than rain, snow and ice can cause extremely hazardous driving conditions. “Black ice” has been known to form on roads in extremely cold conditions, but is invisible to drivers, giving them no indication of the need to reduce their speed. In a similar respect, heavy snow can destabilize cars, reduce visibility and affect the performance of the car. When driving in extreme conditions, be sure to drive more slowly than normal and leave plenty of stopping distance between yourself and the next vehicle. Only travel if absolutely necessary and try to use alternative transport, such as trains.
Driving in unfamiliar conditions can be just as dangerous as the weather. If you are used to driving in the city, taking a ride down a country lane could present a new range of problems. Despite the reduction of traffic, the roads can be narrow, winding, often with blind spots caused by overgrown hedges or trees. Other road-users, such as horse-riders, cyclists, farm vehicles or caravans can often take up a large amount of the road, meaning cars suddenly have to reduce their speed, or even swerve to avoid a collision. Astoundingly, there are over 3000 car accidents involving horses on the road every year, according to the British Horse Society. And interestingly, over 90% of these accidents occur on minor roads. It pays to be aware of a change in driving conditions and unexpected hazards to avoid having to consider car accident compensation.
The most significant factor that increases the risk of a car accident, however, is undoubtedly human error. Over 77% of accidents result from mistakes made by the drivers controlling the vehicle. But there are certain steps that drivers can take to reduce the risk of harm and the need to claim car accident compensation. Avoiding alcohol before driving is essential to maintaining safety, as well as legality. The UK legal limit for drivers is 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, which is approximately equivalent to two pints of ordinary strength beer. However, many drivers misjudge this amount as it varies according to age, weight and regular drinking quantities. In 2008 there were over 8,620 road accidents in which the driver was over the legal limit for alcohol. As a result of these, 2,020 people were killed or seriously injured. Avoiding alcohol entirely or finding alternative methods of transport are the only truly secure ways of preventing car accidents and associated car accident compensation claims. In much the same way, tiredness of drivers can result in them falling asleep at the wheel. To prevent this, rest before you drive and only travel when you feel fully alert.
If you think you are entitled to car accident compensation, contact Macks Solicitors. We are able to offer you accurate, simple and no-fuss advice about how you can claim compensation to cover physical, psychological and financial losses as a result of a car accident. Simply complete the thirty second claim-form or call directly 0800 980 9390 to assess how much money you could be entitled to.