Road traffic accidents are, unfortunately, fairly common. Nearly 25,000 people are either killed or very seriously injured each year on our roads. While the number of accidents is decreasing, we still regularly see claims in our practice related to crashes and other vehicle-related incidents.
The reasons for RTAs are quite varied but time and again we see the same issues coming up when considering causes of accidents. The most common are:
The Driver Was Distracted
We live in a complex and demanding world where lots of things are vying for our attention. One of the key features of driving is that you have to concentrate on the road ahead at all times.
In the past, we’ve seen drivers distracted by their mobile phones or talking to the passenger next to them. They take their eyes off the road for an instant and by that time it’s too late. We’ve even had one claim with a driver who was distracted because they were putting their makeup on.
Dangerous or Reckless Driving
We’ve all seen the ‘boy racer’ charging down the outside lane of the motorway during a thunderstorm or the person who is too impatient and overtakes at the wrong moment.
Reckless driving is one of the biggest causes of RTAs and covers a lot of things, including running a red light, going the wrong way on a one-way street, driving without headlights at night and breaking the speed limit. All these are entirely preventable and leave no cause for an argument if you are caught breaking the law and driving recklessly.
Drink and Drug Driving
While it might seem convenient to get behind the wheel when you’ve had a few drinks, it’s the most dangerous thing you can do. If you are stopped by the police, you will lose your licence and get a large fine.
If you cause an accident and injury or even kill someone, you can expect a lengthy prison sentence. Needless to say, you should avoid any kind of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Another common cause of accidents is driver fatigue. If you have spent hours on the road, it can be easy to lose concentration and drift off, especially at night. This is a common problem for long-distance lorry drivers who are often under pressure to deliver their goods from A to B.
The truth is that it takes just a split-second loss of concentration to have an accident. If you are tired, open the window and get some fresh air. Pull off the road and rest rather than try to push on. It’s better to get to your destination a little bit later than not at all.
Poorly Maintained Vehicles
Another common cause of road traffic accidents is a poorly maintained car or van. This can range from bald tyres that reduce grip on the road to bad suspension and low brake fluid. You are legally responsible for maintaining your car and making sure it is roadworthy. Take time to have your car serviced and learn to spot issues and put them right before they become a hazard.
For advice on whether you can claim compensation for a car accident that was not your fault, contact our specialist personal injury solicitors today.