According to the World Health Organisation(WHO), more than 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. The majority of fatalities occurring in the age bracket of 15 – 29 years old. Taking that into consideration the amount of injuries occurred in these accidents are also incredulously high. The causes of traffic collisions vary and can range from accidents linked to lack of concentration, to clear fault crashes and intentional accidents.
It’s incredibly important to take into account precautions and considerations when you are driving. Not only to ensure your safety, but to take into account your neighbours on the road. Whilst some accidents cannot be avoided, many are linked to habitual patterns or bad decisions that can in fact be avoided.
In the United States, mobile phones account for more than 25 per cent of car accidents – this is over six times more than drink driving. With that in mind it’s not shocking to learn that mobile phones account for a large number of British incidents too.
The next time you are driving and consider texting or picking up your phone keep this in mind. There are now many devices and gadgets you can install into your car to avoid accidents happening. Hands-free talking for example and using a satellite navigation system (SatNav) rather than your phone – which could prove more distracting if you have texts popping up whilst it’s directing you.
It shouldn’t need more persuasion other than yours and others safety. However, if you are caught using a phone or in fact, reprogramming your SatNav whilst driving, you can receive up to six penalty points and a £200 fine. You’ll also lose your licence if you passed your driving test in the last 2 years.
Check your car
Driver error is the largest cause of collisions in the UK. You may think this is unavoidable – after all, error is in the name. But this is where you would be wrong. Checking over your car before any long journey or when you are driving in more extreme weather is crucial to ensure safe running.
Be sure to check your tyre pressure and tread, your washer levels, break lights and indicators before setting off. It’s your responsibility to consistently check your car. If you’re pulled over falling short on any of these, you can end up with a hefty fine – or even worse – a ban. You can receive three points per tyre if your tread is out for example. The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre. If you are not meeting this on all four tyres that’s 12 points and an immediate ban.
Keeping your car roadworthy and safe will put you in the best possible position before embarking on your journey.
Make a judgment call
Weather is also a key causer of road traffic accidents. Rain, snow or ice cause slippery surfaces that tyres may struggle to grip onto. Alternatively, hot weather can soften and manipulate tarmac, producing pot holes. It’s your call to decide whether it is safe to drive, but never feel pressured into taking on the roads.
If snow is deep it could be far too dangerous to drive in. If it’s raining, ensure your tyre pressure is adequate and if it’s sunny ensure you have sunglasses. Bright light will impair your vision and could cause a potentially dangerous situation.
Most of your road safety will be common sense, but at all times it is important not to rush, not to enter into a risky situation and perhaps most importantly – to be patient and take your time. Not all drivers are completely confident so make sure your driving is not intimating or stressing out other road users in the process.
If you have been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, our expert team at Lysander Laware on hand to help you make your claim, and build your case.