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The cost of road traffic accidents in the UK

Franklin St & Elliot Rd photo by Frank Jania, via FlickrLast month, the Department for Transport reported that road accidents cost the national economy almost £15 billion in 2013, a figure that comprises of vehicle and property damage, police costs and insurance costs. The largest proportion of this amount (£7.26 billion) went towards the "human costs" of an accident, which cover the effects of injury and any pain or distress felt by the victim or their families. The total reported sum of £15 billion represents a 3% decrease from the estimated cost of accidents in 2012, but whilst the financial cost of road accidents may have decreased year-on-year, the devastating effect of road traffic accidents can still be felt by the families of those involved, and leave a lasting impact on the local community. 

Dangerous driving still a concern

The Road Safety Minister, Robert Goodwill, has stated that while these statistics confirm that Britain’s roads are still some of the safest in the world, more needs to be done to resolve the problem of dangerous drivers in order to make our roads even safer. There are people who will act dishonestly or recklessly in an attempt to file a false claim, with many also willing to put their own lives and the lives of others at risk in order to aid their own financial gain. The Association of British Insurers found that an estimated £2.1 billion worth of undetected insurance fraud is committed every year, though perhaps more concerning are the recent figures released by insurance company Aviva that indicate the number of ‘crash-for cash scam’, in which a driver will brake suddenly in front of another vehicle and cause them to crash in order to receive an insurance pay-out, had risen by 51% in 2013.

Impact on the local community

Last year, in Wales alone, a total of 8,335 road casualties were reported, including 111 fatalities, 1,033 serious injuries, and 7,191 slight injuries, and while the total number of casualties was 2.7% lower than 2012, the number of people killed or suffering a serious injury as a result increased by 19% and 10% respectively. Earlier this month, a woman caused “carnage” after crashing into nine cars parked on a residential street in Pontypool, and a total of 14 defendants are currently awaiting trial for operating a large scale crash-for-cash scam across South Wales, affecting areas such as Caerphilly, Bargoed and Blackwood.

Mr Goodwill’s warning of the need to tackle dangerous drivers should therefore not go unheeded; death by dangerous driving has long been a cause of concern in South Wales, and even inspired the filming of a Public Service Announcement video, jointly created by the Gwent Police and Tredegar Comprehensive School in 2009. The film was recognised for its focus on the “grim reality” of dangerous driving, and the poignancy of its decision to focus upon on the human costs of road traffic accidents in the local community. Considering the decline seen in road accidents across the UK last year, now, more than ever, is the time to make road safety a priority and drive those statistics down even further.

Road traffic accidents are some of the most common and the most serious types of accident in the UK. Here at Fonseca Law, we receive compensation claims covering a range of areas, from claims involving uninsured drivers to families acting on behalf of victims involved in a fatal accident. We’ve witnessed first-hand the kind of overwhelming impact that road traffic accidents can have on victims and families, and it is made more difficult with the knowledge that these accidents can be easily avoided.

We hope that you are never involved in an accident, but if you or a loved one has been injured through no fault of your own, we can assist you in claiming the compensation you deserve. If you’re in need of our legal services, you can contact us on 01495 303124, or fill in a compensation claim form today.