Don’t be a Statistic: Practical Steps To Prevent An RTA

In 2014 it was reported that every day, there were 5 killed and a further 62 seriously injured in a road traffic accident in the UK.

While some accidents are unavoidable, more often than not they can be prevented. Here at Michael Lewin Solicitors we promote the concept of road safety and believe that preventative measures can be taken in each of the main causes of accidents in the UK.

Cyclists

The number of cyclists reported to have been seriously injured increased by 4% from 3,085 in 2011 to 3,222 in 2012. Cyclists are one of the vulnerable road users and therefore extra precautions are necessary to keep safe.

Some suggested steps to take to ensure the safety of cyclists:

  • Check all mirrors and blind spots, especially when turning
  • Use your indicators to make cyclists aware of your intentions
  • Give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking
  • Always check for cyclists when opening car doors.

Mobile Phones

Despite the Government banning the use of mobile phones when driving, many road users continue to use technology at the wheel.

Studies shows that texting slows reaction times by 37.4% and hands-free mobile phone conversation slows reaction times by 26.5%. These statistics demonstrate that even through the use of hands-free technology seems better, a driver is still distracted and not paying due care and attention to other road users.

Therefore, if you need to use your mobile phone, pull over in a safe and convenient place. That Facebook notification can wait!

Driving under the influence

The legal drink-driving limit in the UK is currently 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The consequences of being over this limit could result in a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record, a fine and/or up to 6 months in prison.

It is not possible to say how much alcohol any person can drink and stay under the below the limit as this is dependent on the following factors:

  • Weight, age, sex and metabolism
  • The type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking
  • What you’ve eaten recently
  • Your stress levels at the time

If you intend of having a drink, make sure you have a designated driver or enough money for a taxi.

Speed

In 2013, 3,064 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes where speed was a factor.

Some factors to consider when driving:

  • The speed limit is a limit not a target
  • Adapt your speed to the road conditions
  • Be prepared for any unexpected hazards
  • It’s better to arrive alive than not at all.

Fatigue

Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related. Falling asleep at the wheel can be fatal for both the drivers, passengers and their fellow road users.

Some factors to consider:

  • Plan your journey to include regular breaks every 2 hours
  • Don’t get behind the wheel if you’re tired
  • Try to avoid late night driving

Road users themselves have a significant influence over the amount of accidents that occur on our roads. As a road user, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of not only yourself but to your fellow road users.

If you are unfortunately enough to be involved in a RTA, then contact us, call us on 0844 499 9302 or email us rta@michaellewin.co.uk.

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