48% of car accidents in winter are due to cars skidding. When the temperature drops, roads become an ice rink in patches. Tyres lose grip and the surface of the road can become a danger risk if drivers are not in control.
The best advice many motor industry experts can give on avoiding skidding on icy roads is to switch to cold weather tyres. Winter tyres tend to have a more ‘aggressive’ grip with more cuts in the tread and biting edges that better grip the ground.
Industry adviser ‘Which?’ suggests that winter tyres work very well at temperatures under 7 degrees Celsius, adapting to wet and icy conditions by not only gripping better but by spreading the force of traction over a greater area, providing a more stable base.
When cars slide on the road, it is difficult for a driver to regain control. Other drivers in the area may also skid and slide if they need to take evasive action, potentially setting off a domino effect involving multiple cars. Even on a small residential street, a single car struggling to grip can risk injury for its owner and any passers by (see video below).
Not an excuse
Unfortunately as treacherous as ice and snow is on the road, causing damage or harm to another person because the road is icy is often not an excuse. When conditions are poor, it is expected that drivers adapt accordingly to the road surface. This means hanging further back than normal, driving slower and paying particular attention to your surroundings. By not adhering to this you may be seen as acting negligently should you collide with another vehicle or person.
Government guidelines suggest not travelling in snow and ice if possible. It is not illegal but heavily advised. Should you travel on wet, icy roads the guidelines are to keep a large distance from any vehicle in front, not to make any sharp movements and to drive “at slow speed in as high a gear as possible” to keep control.
What If I’m Hurt?
Icy roads escalate the risks of collisions. It also poses a serious risk to pedestrians as an icy pavement can make walking at the roadside treacherous.
If you, a family member or friend have found yourself injured during these conditions, contact Sincere Law to see what our experts can do for you. We deal in serious injuries and understand winter is a particularly high risk time of year for these.
We are experienced at arranging the extra care and attention required to help recover from serious injury problems. Recovery can take months or years to overcome, but we will be there every step of the way.
To chat to one of our advisers for free, impartial, conscientious advice please call 0800 092 2896 (lines open weekdays from 9am to 7pm) for more details. Alternatively you can get in touch using our contact form on our website.
The incident, which was filmed on the cab’s dash cam, caught the moment that Mr Kroker paid no attention to the stationary traffic as he checked his phone. His vehicle, which was travelling at 50mph, hit a Vauxhall Zafira, that in-turn shunted a Corsa underneath another HGV in front of it. The Corsa was reduced to “a third of its usual size” killing 45 year old Tracey Houghton, her two sons Ethan (13) and Joshua (11) and her step daughter Aimee (11).
The judge residing over the proceedings, Maura McGowen, said that Mr Kroker “might as well have had his eyes shut”. Mr Kroker pleaded guilty to all counts and was told he would receive no leniency for his actions. He will now spend at least five years behind bars, as part of a ten year sentence.
The family of the victims don’t believe the sentence is an adequate deterrent or warning to mobile phone users behind the wheel. The mother of 11 year old Aimee who died in the accident told reporters “The 10-year sentence will not ease our pain and suffering, nor do we believe it will send a strong enough message to those who lack the self-restraint to not use a mobile phone when driving.”
If you search for examples of crashes or incidents that have been caused by a motorist using a mobile phone whilst driving, you will find plenty of results. These incidents, as displayed in the accident caused by Mr Kroker, often have the potential to cause serious injury to other motorists.
The question on the lips of those affected by a mobile related collision will often be “was it worth risking a life?” Some of the common reasons given by motorists for checking their mobile phones while driving include changing music, boredom, to send a text or to make a call. Each of these reasons are 100% trivial, when you weigh up the risk of injury that being distracted from driving carries. In Mr Kroker’s case, that risk took the lives of four people, three of which were young children and that is something he will now have to live with for the rest of his life.
“What if I’m injured?”
There are legal repercussions expected when a driver is reckless behind a wheel. The police will often file criminal charges but you are also able to ensure any injuries you, your family or friends suffer are treated seriously.
It is very easy for distracted drivers to hit cars at faster speeds, potentially causing more harm as they are not monitoring speed, road positioning or checking for hazards. In the case of a serious injury a specialist legal firm like ourselves will be required to look deeply into the situation and arrange much more than just a financial settlement. An injured person may need surgery, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, counselling and a host of other services.
Here at Sincere Law, we have a network of specialists across the country dedicated to helping serious accident victims and their families attempt to put their lives back together as best they can.
If you feel this could be something that you, your family or friends could use following an incident on the road, you can call in confidence on 0800 092 2896 for free, impartial advice on how best to move forward in your circumstances.
If you would prefer to contact online we also have a contact form where you can leave details. We can then call you when it convenient to talk about the incident and what you may need from us.
You may have noticed on TV and in print adverts recently that new methods of combating drug driving have come into force. With the aim of reducing the risk of collisions from impaired driving, the new “swab” is designed to detect a number of chemicals in the body which can identify a drug driver. Is it the best deterrent of drug driving yet? Or will it just serve to pick up more roadside fines?
Under The Influence
Drug driving is now considered to be the same as drink driving when it comes to offences behind the wheel. Both now carry the same penalties.
According to the government driving safety organisation, THINK!, penalties for being caught drug driving include a minimum of a 12 month driving ban, the potential of up to 6 months imprisonment, unlimited fines and a criminal record.
Unashamedly, gov.co.uk promotes other side effects of being convicted for drug driving as potentially losing your job, having trouble finding new employment, increased car insurance costs and even face rejection when wanting to enter countries such as the USA and Canada.
(The new drug driving PSA from THINK!)
A Needle in a Haystack
Previously, police were reduced to using basic roadside impairment tests to catch drug drivers. These tests included walking in a straight line, standing on one leg and checking for dilated pupils. This made it difficult to enforce, as passing the tests gave police little choice but to warn the driver and continue their journey. Simply suspecting a motorist would not have been enough to warrant an arrest.
The new drug driving swab means that the police are able to use a saliva sample to test for cocaine or cannabis within 6 minutes. This can be done at the roadside or alternatively, the swab can also be sent to a test lab for further readings of substances on the prohibited list. Even if a driver doesn’t show for either of the two on the swab, showing signs of impairment now give the police the right to arrest and prosecute, pending evidence from further testing.
The new measures have helped increase the arrest rate of drug drivers reportedly by as much as 800% by some local constabularies. Proving a driver to be impaired by drugs was once a difficult task for police; but thanks to the swab, that task has become very straightforward.
When looking at the new swab from a personal injury Solicitor’s viewpoint; Sincere Law believes the initiative can help reduce accidents caused by drug drivers and therefore protect innocent road users from suffering catastrophic injury at the hands of irresponsible drivers who are under the influence.
Sincere Law’s catastrophic injury Partner Chris Walker weighed in on the subject, stating “Any way of deterring drug drivers from taking the risk of going out on the road while impaired is something we support. We often see claims from clients who have been seriously injured at the hands of impaired drivers, both under the influence of drink and drugs so we welcome the initiative and hope to see positive trends for collisions and accidents relating to drug driving as a result.”
Are swabs the way forward to make the roads safer? We scoured Twitter to find out your opinion on the new procedures.
The new drug driving advert is actually quite threatening
The biggest fear for UK motorists during the cold winter months and heavy snowfall is the possibility of driving over black ice. The dangers of losing control over a surface with no grip are very serious. However, there are methods to help keep you on the road and prevent road traffic accidents during the colder months.
What Is Black Ice?
Whether rain falls as sleet or freezing rain, depends heavily on the temperature of the air just above ground level. If the temperature is already around freezing or just above, there is no heat in the air to stop the rain from freezing while travelling to the ground. This type of rainfall becomes hailstone and while hail can stick and form ice on the road, it often retains its colour and becomes visible ice, allowing road users to be aware while driving over it.
What becomes black ice is rainfall that passes through a layer of warm air on its way to the ground. Because of the warm air keeping it from freezing, it remains a liquid before hitting the ground and freezes upon impact. As the rain is still a liquid it will disperse over a larger surface area while freezing. This large area of freezing usually remains clear, containing no air bubbles, blending into the road surface, giving very little sign, other than a slight sheen, that the road has an extra layer sitting on top. The reason for it being labelled “black ice” is usually down to the fact it camouflages itself on the road surface by remaining clear.
Popular advice when driving on ice is to drive slowly and avoid losing grip. The way in which black ice freezes as a flat sheet over the road has the potential to turn tarmac into a sheet, as though the driver has their vehicle on glass. Even winter tyres can struggle to gain grip on these kinds of surfaces and because of this we would heavily advise to think about the necessity of a journey before setting out.
(Top tips for driving safely on ice)
Driving Safely With Black Ice
Black ice can’t always be accounted for on your journey. It’s the very essence of it, it is invisible. Local weather reports may give you an indication of ice on the roads; you’ll also be hoping that your local council has taken action and gritted the vast majority of roads on freezing nights, leaving only smaller side streets. As much as this usually resolves 99% of problems driving on ice, there is always the chance that part of your route has been missed. When ice has set in overnight, always assume you will encounter some. It’s much easier to be safe when it comes to road safety in the winter.
If you fall foul of black ice on the road, the chances are you may experience unwanted loss of traction and potentially spin out of control in the worst case. There are, however, a few safe driving tips to employ, should you find yourself on ice and needing to stay calm and in control at the wheel.
Time is definitely NOT of the essence
At any other time of year we can do our best to make meeting times and get to our destinations in good time. Icy weather is definitely a period in which driving slowly, despite the risks of running late, must be the priority. Other road users will be aware of ice on the road and are likely to keep a safe distance, also watching their speed. The last thing other drivers want is to skid and head into the back of your vehicle. Do not be afraid to take it steady and travel at 10mph if necessary or even less should the road surface prove particularly tricky ahead.
Reduce speed before slopes
When you come to the precipice of a down slope, this is a critical moment for keeping control downhill. Going too fast when hitting ice while travelling downhill could easily result in sliding and gaining too much speed to regain control before the bottom. With black ice being very difficult to spot it’s usually best not to drive at all. If there is no other choice, going slow, steady and keeping a level head (unlike the video below) is your highest chance of keeping in control.
(Abandoning your car is not the right response to slipping on ice)
Don’t allow speed to build
Consistent speed can help avoid unwanted slipping and grip issues on any area of road. The power being output into the wheels can keep a car steady, whereas accelerating on ice of any kind can generate wheel spin, car spins and more of an increase in speed over a slippery surface than you would want, which will affect overall control. Keeping a consistent speed on a down slope may be difficult at times, but a gentle foot on the brakes can help avoid skidding and spinning out.
Bravery when sliding
Should you feel your car begin to slide and turn away from your path, you may need to take the brave step of releasing the brake pedal and regaining control going forward. Locking out the front wheels can cause the car to continue going straight, which, if already misaligned, could cause you to veer off the road. Likewise, locking out the back wheels with the handbrake can cause the car to spin out and be a hazard to road users behind it.
Be alert, be aware, and be safe
When it comes to driving on an icy road, whether visible or black ice, we would recommend (along with other experts) that unless it’s unavoidable, don’t take the risk. It never requires a large catalyst to result in a car losing control on the road, no-matter how good the driver is behind the wheel. Treacherous roads are an understandable downfall to our country’s climate and family, managers and friends will all know this. If it’s better not to drive, come up with an alternative.
If there is no other choice, driving slowly and keeping the car on course are key. Usage of breaks should be to help assist with the path of the car, rather than an instant fix for veering off course; that could result in some serious damage to your car, yourself, other cars, property, cyclists and even pedestrians nearby. There is no such thing as going too slow after a night of freezing rainfall. Protect yourself, your vehicle and everybody around you by setting the example and keeping yourself in safe hands on the road.
What if somebody hits me?
If you happen to suffer an incident in the icy conditions and fall victim to an accident at the hands of somebody else, as a driver, cyclist, pedestrian or passenger, then you do have options to help get past any damages caused. Road traffic accidents in the winter on ice can escalate from what would be very minor bumps and scrapes, into serious incidents because of the lack of control.
Collisions in the winter months can not only cause excess, unnecessary damage but the cost of the damage both financially and physically can wreak havoc on carefully laid plans during the holiday season. If you do happen to suffer in an incident, Sincere Law is available to help deal with serious injury claims as a result of a road traffic accident on icy roads. We are available to contact every day from 8am to 9pm via phone on 0800 092 2896, by email at [email protected] or by filling in our contact form here on our website.
We’ve assisted clients up and down the UK for the last 24 years in the serious injury sector. Inside our headquarters we have assembled a large team of the top UK Solicitors each with their own extensive background. With so many professional resources available, your best choice in serious injury law is Sincere Law.
Great news for road traffic accident prevention! Google Maps has recently released an update that now audibly tells drivers when they are approaching congestion, giving them the knowledge without needing to take their eyes off the road.
Seamless Journeys, Safer Journeys
Spoken traffic alerts are the latest innovation to hit smartphones by Google. With the ability now to automatically hear traffic updates along your route, you will not only be on top of your journey, but will also be much safer having not being required to pick up the phone whilst driving.
With smartphone injuries up 43% in 2015, the lure of staring at a screen has become too much for many Brits, who now see themselves falling victim to avoidable accidents like walking into obstructions (43% of people admitted walking into something).
With the introduction of audible updates on all smartphone devices, the new feature could go a long way to addressing the growing concerns about driver and pedestrian safety at the hands of distractions like phones.
Having been banned since 2003, mobile phone use while driving is still unfortunately a common cause of road traffic accidents over the last decade, with offenders not always easy to spot by police given the sometimes discreet nature of texting below the door line.
The new app will eradicate previous faults, which include having to look for new routes while driving into traffic, as an update of traffic on your route will be described before you set off, enabling you to change routes before leaving your house. You will also receive updates as soon as congestion develops, giving you time to choose a new route or simply be aware that you will need to slow down as you approach queues.
The dangers of texting while driving
A practical Approach
Sincere Law feel that while the initial innovation of the app was to give road users more warning and more choice when commuting, we are pleased to see a company like Google take a proactive approach in reducing accidents, as a result of distracted driving.
Driver error causes 90% of accidents, with mobile phone use being a large percentage of that. With phones consistently evolving and giving us more applications and uses, it could be easy to become carried away and allow the different distractions a mobile can offer to affect driving.
The urge to find a particular album or playlist on your iPhone library, or check out how your village is getting along in Clash of Clans, while only taking a few seconds to accomplish, can prove fatal. Sincere Law Senior Partner David Byrne spoke to us about the update; stating:
“With so many uses for a smartphone nowadays it is such an easy distraction. The user can potentially think ‘it won’t happen to me’ that they could lose control while using a device. Unfortunately it does happen and it can destroy lives, this new feature will go a long way to fighting that. Congestion can lead to stress and to more accidents, alleviating this is a major step towards reduction in road traffic accidents from distraction, stress and poor driving decisions”.
With over 23 years of experience and an entire team of Road Traffic Accident specialists, Sincere Law knows what the impact of an accident can be and what is needed to begin the healing process for all affected.
The process can affect families, an individual’s whole life (physically and psychologically) and also cause considerable damage to their own property, such as their car, motorcycle or bike.
These cases can be sensitive and require careful consideration as to what steps to take. This is something we’re well versed in. We have made it our pledge to conduct all claims under a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis, providing an upfront and honest account has been given, in order to reduce stress and eliminate any risk for those that have already suffered so much.
To get free, impartial advice from one of our team of experts, you can get in touch via either filling out our contact form here, by emailing us at [email protected]k and giving the relevant details, or by calling us when convenient for you (we’re open every day from 8am – 9pm) on 0800 092 2896.
We’re always ready to advise you on the best course of action and will always be honest about what we can do for you. If you have suffered at the hands of a negligent driver, begin your claim today. Remember, claiming compensation is your best way of ensuring the guilty party comes to justice.
If you are a driver and use Google maps to get about, we encourage you to update your app and make good use of the new innovation today!
According to reports, one in five accidents on the UK’s roads involves a Lorry/HGV. This is a frightening and worrying statistic, not only for lorry drivers but other motorists on the road. A number of factors can implicate this but the most common are driver error, mechanical error or the UK’s weather conditions and with the colder, winter weather now fast approaching, it is important that we become extra vigilant when commuting in our cars and motorcycles.
What are the main causes?
Lorry accidents can happen due to a number of factors, here is a list of the most common:
Driver asleep or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Mechanical fault of the cab or trailer
The load on the trailer not secured
Bad weather conditions such as high wind, snow, ice or heavy rain
Overtaking a lorry and the driver not seeing you when you move lanes
Driver too close to other vehicle
Spray from lorry causing lack of visibility
These are just a few reasons from a long list of scenarios in which a lorry can cause, or be involved in, a road traffic accident. These accidents mainly occur on the motorways, where lorry drivers spend most of the time, thanks largely to the increases of modern day consumerism. The increasing amount road haulage caused by this contributes to tighter deadlines for delivery and increases the congestion on our roads, not to mention the high numbers of EU lorry drivers delivering much needed products and food items.
Another issue that is caused by these increased, often long haul journey’s is driver fatigue and according to figures released by RoSPA in 2011, 20% of road accidents are caused by driver fatigue.
These are just a few issues that have caused road traffic accidents involving lorries. On a much wider scale it is clear that more still needs to be done to help make our roads safer by increasing lorry driver safety.
Accidents in the news
Its seem like every day we see an accident on our roads involving a lorry of some description. In August 2015, a nine year old girl suffered broken bones in an accident that involved a lorry. It was reported that she was crossing the road, when was struck by a lorry carrying paving stones. Thankfully the young girl is still alive but she did have to stay in hospital for a few days.
Sadly the same cannot be said about another accident that took place in the same month on the M20 in Kent, which resulted in the tragic death of a lorry driver and left a teenager in a serious condition. In this instance the lorry driver had hit the teenager’s Vauxhall Corsa, who following the crash emerged from his vehicle initially unharmed but was then struck by another car, which failed to stop.
What are the impacts of a accident involving a lorry?
The injuries that can be sustained from an accident involving a lorry can differ depending on the severity of the accident. Injuries can be minor, such as bruising or more severe, such as serious head fractures or brain damage. A road traffic accident often does not just affect the life of the drivers involved but also their family and friends, as the strain and upset of a serious injury can reverberate through all aspects of your life.
Recovering from an injury will more often than not force the victim to take time off work resulting in a loss of earnings. This in-turn can increase the pressure on the victim’s family as they struggle to meet household bills.
The victim can also be affected emotionally by the limitations of their injury, which can restrict you from carrying out simple daily routine, such as walking unaided down the stairs or playing with your children, as well as stop you doing the things you love and enjoy, whether that is playing football, attending the gym, running or any other kind of recreational activity.
How we can aid your recovery
At Sincere Law, we pride ourselves in making sure you receive the best treatment and care possible. This involves finding the best doctors, surgeons and physiotherapists to help your recovery. We can also advise you on how your claim is going and provide interim payments when and where needed, for example, to pay for specialist home care, so rest assured, that we will be with you every step of the way, throughout your recovery, right up to the conclusion of your case and beyond.
Furthermore, when your case comes to its natural end we will continue to support you and your loved ones and help you in any way we can. We understand that in the most severe instances, a serious injury can have lifelong implications for the victim and their loved ones and can result in the need for a lifetime of care and support.
Thanks to our experience and standing within the profession, we can ensure that you are offered specialist care and put in place crisis teams, that can help all aspects of your recovery, including dedicated home care packages for serious injuries such as head impacts. We also understand the challenging aspects that come with dealing with the turmoil of experiencing a serious accident, for you and your loved ones and just how hard it can be to deal with the aftermath. That is why we offer family counselling where it is needed or individual treatment, in the instance that you or one of your family members are suffering psychologically, as a result of the victim’s injury.
At Sincere Law, we go above and beyond to ensure that if there is anything we can do to help make life after the accident easier, whether that is help for the victim or those closest to them.
How to claim?
If you or a loved one has been affected by a road traffic accident involving a lorry, that wasn’t your fault, why not get in touch with one of our serious injury specialists today. You can call us free on 0800 092 2896 or, alternatively, you can request a call back by filling in the form on the top right hand side of this page.
All initial advice is without obligation and all of our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis, so there really is nothing to lose by getting in touch and speaking with one of our specialist advisers today.
The view of a beautiful decline down a luscious part of the country is now regularly filmed via helmet mounted cameras on cyclists across the UK. The number of people using them has grown rapidly since their inception at the turn of the century. However, these cameras are also being used to record video evidence against negligent and poor drivers during everyday commutes; which begs the question, are helmet mounted cameras good for evidence in serious injury cases?
Using helmet mounted cameras
The technology around helmet mounted cameras began to become popular when leading sports camera company GoPro started their journey back in 2002 with the idea of capturing surfers performing directly from the athlete themselves. This quickly developed into cameras designed to capture a multitude of sports including skiing, cycling and many other extreme activities; it has even stretched into the realms of filming non sport related videos, capturing some truly amazing moments, such as the worlds highest freefall, to a fire-fighter saving a kitten from a burned down building.
As time passes, like with all areas of technology, the ability for higher resolution videos, smaller cameras, longer battery life and larger storage capacity enables us to capture any aspect of daily life in high detail. This has been the case for many cyclists in the UK and the rest of the world, recording great journeys and daily commutes alike. However, the use of these cameras is currently just as much for personal protection reasons as capturing stunning scenery.
Search on YouTube for anything related to bad driving and cyclists and you will find hundreds of incidents involving road users displaying road rage and poor driving caught using mounted cameras. Previously, serious injuries from road traffic accidents involving cyclists would involve testimonials from those present, including witnesses. While this is reliable if more than one testimonial matches up to create the full story, the advent of cyclists using helmet mounted cameras has enabled an extra dimension of evidence to support their claims. Video evidence can often be very useful in determining who was at fault in a serious injury case. There are however, limitations with using video as evidence in a claim you are making.
Video courtesy of the Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Although video evidence often depicts what happened during an incident without prejudice and from an unbiased view, having footage does not automatically mean police or a court will accept recordings. Common considerations for using footage when reporting a serious injury claim from cycling include:
• Showing entirety of the incident: Usually 2 minutes before and 2 minutes after the incident so that a clear understanding of how the incident began and the aftermath can be drawn.
• If possible, show the date and time: Some cameras automatically have a timestamp, clarifying the incident as the one in question. This helps legitimise the video as being not only of the incident, but driver (if the face is shown) and victim.
• Footage must be raw and unedited: As video editing is very accessible now, it is important to submit any footage in its raw form, clearly displaying no signs of doctoring.
• Handing footage to authorities quickly: Similarly to the above point, footage should be handed in to the relevant authorities (often the police) quickly (within 48 hours of the incident) to ensure there is no time to doctor the video and so action can be taken asap.
• Video quality must be acceptable: There are hundreds of camera brands for helmets and most will be of suitable quality for recording. It is important to have a high enough resolution that there can be no doubt about the vehicle involved in the incident, its registration and if possible the driver (should we see their face).
• Be aware of your own behaviour: While we may be able to see the original incident wasn’t your fault, if you were to retaliate in an unacceptable manner (physically or verbally) or are seen to be antagonising and making the situation worse, this could go against you when considering the evidence.
Can we use it?
Having video evidence; while not 100% certain to be used within a claim; is, in short, a useful tool to ensure any denial on liability can be challenged when claiming from a cycling accident. If you are going to be cycling a lot and are considering having a camera mounted on your helmet or bike, as an insurance option it can easily help legitimise any claim. Video evidence, if accepted, can go a long way to speeding up the claim process.
Our advice when using mounted cameras is to stay courteous, even after any incident, as your own behaviour is on show. Also, make sure you act quickly if you are on the receiving end of negligent driving while riding. When on a bike you are much more vulnerable to serious injury from negligent driving than in a car, as there is less protection available. You can’t always guarantee those around you will be vigilant, so you must be, to lower the amount of risk.
What to do if you have been injured?
The first step after an injury is to get in touch with us and let us know all the details of your claim. From there we can confidently let you know if you have a solid claim and what to do to proceed. At Sincere Law our team has 20+ years of serious injury knowledge at each of our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis, giving you peace of mind to start your claim, knowing you won’t be charged if unsuccessful. We understand serious injuries like no other and we strive to look after you immediately following injury for as long as it takes for your to recover. We will also ensure that you receive the best aftercare following your return home.
If you or a loved one have been unfortunate and suffered a serious injury while cycling, video evidence or not, please call us for free impartial advice on 0800 092 2896 or fill on our contact form for one of our friendly advisers to get in touch with you.
It’s a campaign that aims to remind all road users to be alert for hazards while driving. Particularly, motorbikes. The “Think Bike” campaign serves to keep us vigilant to the risks on both sides of not keeping eyes on the road and surroundings while travelling. Recently, articles on collisions that have caused serious injuries and luckily some that have avoided serious injuries have spurred us at Sincere Law to help remind everyone of the importance of safe driving.
Both of the accidents in the articles we read (above) were from collisions that happened at junctions, one being a T junction and the other merging onto a motorway. These areas are the hotspots for motorbike collisions, on average “30 motorcyclists are killed or injured every day at junctions”. Our top tip, as simple as it sounds, is to take plenty of time, look both ways; don’t accelerate out of a junction too quickly. Sometimes waiting at a junction can be incredibly frustrating if traffic is busy, but waiting those few seconds is worth the trade off from potentially causing a serious road traffic accident or in the extreme, costing somebody’s life.
Of the top 5 most common causes of motorcycle accidents, 2 of them involve manoeuvring. Filtering and changing lanes are moments when not checking mirrors and keeping track of other drivers could result in serious collisions. Both driver and biker need to be sensible when filtering and changing lanes to keep themselves and others safe.
Filtering is perfectly legal and good for traffic. For bikers, it’s important in slow traffic to move at a steady pace to give drivers time to notice and react. Equally, when a driver is changing lanes, they must check mirrors, give plenty of indication time, and move steadily rather than suddenly; this way, even if a biker is not seen and approaches, they have ample time to slow down and avoid any possible collision.
Blind bends and tight roads make country driving difficult to navigate, having to adapt to the road around you. With the national speed limit in place for most of these roads, the chances of collisions while driving at these speeds are increased greatly. Road traffic accidents with serious injury and deaths sadly occur often, sometimes on the same stretch of road.
When travelling on country roads, it would be highly advisable not to allow the speed limit to govern your driving. Instead, let the inclines/declines, bends and compactness of the road make the decisions. If the road is winding and hard to judge, slow down to a comfortable pace. With so much unpredictability and difficulty predicting what could be round the next bend, it is always advisable to be safe and take a country road with a smooth, controlled journey.
With motorcyclists 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than a car (UK Government Statistics) and over 4,800 serious injuries occurring each year involving them, it’s important on all sides to look after each other and observe good driving etiquette. Serious and fatal injuries can have lasting effects on not only those involved but the families too. We often have to help our clients remain financially secure when making claims for serious injury as the effects can last a lifetime. Common injuries found in road traffic accidents include:
Broken & dislocated vertebrae
Traumatic brain injuries
Diffuse axonal injury
Our advice, given the latest news articles, is simply to look after one another, motorcyclist or driver; stay safe on the road and look out for fellow road users.
If you or a loved one have been unfortunate and suffered a road traffic accident in a car or on a motorcycle, get in touch with us on 0800 092 2896 or fill in our contact form. One of our advisors will be on hand to help give advice on how to move forward with a claim.
With the summer holidays arriving (and already here for some) it is getting to a time of year where the School runs are over and it’s time to take your loved ones out for walks, day trips and lots of exiting activities. With so much outdoor fun available, it is important to stop for a moment and ensure you remember to keep yourself and your family safe over the summer.
As serious injury solicitors, we receive high volumes of road traffic accident claims every day. We receive just as many claims from people injured at the roadside as a pedestrian as we do people injured while at the wheel or as a passenger. With many more children out and about as passengers in cars and as pedestrians this summer, make sure both you and your children avoid any unwanted incidents and have a long, hot, happy summer.
Summer Safety, top tips
1. Follow the Green Cross Code – to the letter!
The easiest and possibly the best way of avoiding any injuries as a pedestrian, especially when walking with children, is to obey the green cross code. Crossing at zebra or pelican crossings and using the stop, look and listen technique can reduce any risks to an absolute minimum.
2. Keep yourself on the road side
It may seem like common sense, but many road traffic accidents we deal with include cars coming onto the curb. When walking with your child it is in their best interests to make sure they walk away from the road. Children seem to enjoy balancing on the edge of the pavement. It’s important to teach the dangers of this as falling into the road from doing this could end catastrophically!
3. Playing in the street
You won’t always be with your child during the summer. Sometimes they may be just outside enjoying some playtime with friends. If you live on a road with cars coming through, be it a quiet cul-de-sac or a main road, make sure your loved one knows not to play in the road and stick to the pavement. When playing ball games, make sure they know not to chase after a ball that ventures into the road and to retrieve it by using their green cross code.
Stay safe, and enjoy
Ensuring the knowledge that the road isn’t a playground is the best way to make sure your loved ones are secure during the holidays. Unfortunately many claims from road traffic accidents include pedestrians and a percentage of those include serious injury claims involving children.
Serious injury cases we’ve dealt with previously involving parents and children during summer include:
Prevention of these types of injuries does work two ways. It requires vigilance from both driver and pedestrian or driver and fellow driver. You may not be able to change the behaviour of another person but by taking your own safeguarding steps you can limit any potential problems while enjoying a packed summer schedule.
While we do provide the very best help for making a claim and ensuring all medical costs at the time and in future will keep you safe and secure, we’re sure you’d much prefer a relaxing, stress free summer enjoying some quality time with your little ones.
If you or a family member have suffered from a serious injury, be it a road traffic accident or other, make sure you do get in touch with us on 0800 092 2896 or use our contact form here.