Avoid a road traffic accident with our handy tips
With around 35 million cars on the road across the UK, it's no surprise that road traffic accidents are extremely common. This large number means that personal injury claims for injuries resulting from a car accident are the most common type of claim. Fortunately, they are also one of the easiest to avoid.
While the nature of accidents mean you cannot prepare for them, you can help reduce your chances of suffering an accident or suffering an injury as a result of an accident. While we’re always here if the worst should happen, we believe prevention is better than a cure.
Avoiding a road traffic accident – Before you set off
There are a number of small but key things you can do before a journey to ensure that your chances of an accident are reduced:
- Check the car’s tyres and bodywork. The last thing you need is a tyre blowout because the pressures were too low. If the bodywork is damaged we would recommend using a different car or not using the car until it’s fixed. Loose bodywork is a hazard to yourself and other motorists.
- Check the windscreen and wipers. If you have a chip in your windscreen, it could crack, impairing your vision. They shouldn't be ignored, so get them fixed as soon as possible. You should also make sure your wipers are clean and can clear water adequately, again due your impaired visibility.
- It may sound silly, but if you need glasses to drive, don’t leave them at home. Make sure you’re wearing them!
- Don’t drive if you’re tired or under the influence of prescribed drugs that could harm your reactions. And under no circumstances should you drive under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Avoiding a road traffic accident – During the journey
Once you've checked your car is road legal, there are a number of things you can do while on the road to reduce your chances of suffering an accident.
- Kill your speed! The speed limits are there for a reason and are not a rough estimate! Driving too fast will reduce your reaction times and can cause serious injury to yourself and others.
- Don’t tailgate the driver in front. Driving too close the car in front is dangerous, if they should break for some untold reason you’ll have less time to react and less space to stop. This is a common accident resulting in whiplash injuries.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If you’re driving through a built up area, be prepared for children playing and other pedestrians walking across the road. It is also important to look out for cyclists, while many obey the rules of the road, some don’t, so be aware of them at traffic lights and junctions!
- Concentrate! Your passengers may have something to show you, but you should keep your eyes on the road. Never use your mobile while driving; it may be illegal in the UK, but you’d be surprised how many drivers continue to use them. If you need to use it, make sure you either stop in a safe place, or install a hands free device.
Be aware of crash-for-cash and flash-for-cash scams
A growing number of scams are currently taking place across the UK. The latest are the flash-for-cash scams. These see drivers flash others at junctions to let them out, they then speed up and hit the unaware driver. When the case gets to court they deny having flashed the driver and that the driver turned across them, which then cannot be defended under current law.
Then there are the crash-for-cash scams which see organised criminals use several cars to stop suddenly, hoping that innocent drivers will be caught unaware and cause a rear-end collision. Rear-end collisions are typically seen by courts as the fault of the drivers who caused the collision, meaning the criminals then get a pay-out.
While we hope you’ll never need us, we are always here to help. If you've been in a road traffic accident that wasn't your fault, contact us today using our claim form or call us on 01495 303124.