The Department for Transport states that in 2009, 2,220 people were killed on the roads in Britain. A further 163,554 road accidents reported to the police resulted in personal injury.
While the responsibility for maintaining and improving the roads and promoting safety standards lies with local authorities, it is vital that as an motorist you are aware of the implications of an accident and consider the risk factors, in order to prevent these incidents from occurring.
Key things to consider before taking to the road:
Limit your speed
One of the most common mistakes people make when on the road is a lack of patience. It’s easy to feel under pressure to get from A to B in no time at all, but getting into the habit of slowing down and being fully aware of your surroundings can often make all the difference.
Ensure that both you and your passengers are wearing a seat belt
It is compulsory to use a seat belt while driving a vehicle in Britain. They often save lives and reduce injuries. If a passenger is injured while travelling in your car with you, they may decide to make personal injury claims against you through your insurance company.
Ensure children are securely seated
Young children and babies should be seated in either secure car seats, child restraints or be wearing a seat belt.
Do not drive while tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
It is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and if you are caught using your mobile phone while driving you could be charged a £60 on the spot fine and have three points added to your licence. Fatigue is the principal factor for around one fifth of all road accidents, so it is wise to avoid driving when tired and to take regular breaks during long journeys.
Additionally, if you are a motorcycle driver, it is your responsibility to make sure both you and your passengers wear a helmet.
If you do experience an accident that wasn’t your fault then car accident claims may entitle you to some compensation. In order for you to be eligible you must report the incident to the police, document the event in as much detail as possible and make sure that you and your passengers visit a doctor to assess your injuries.