The Next Time Someone Says ‘Take Care’ … Do!

With this being Road Safety Week and in anticipation of Harold Stock & Co Solicitors’ ‘Bright Day’.

On Friday 22nd November staff will be dressed in garish combinations of high-vis garb as a fund raiser for the road safety charity Brake, so we’ve looked at the actual causes of road accidents.

But first, a bit about Brake:

Brake campaigns nationally and regionally and raises awareness among the public, to stop road deaths and injuries, make our communities safer and greener, and improve support for crash victims. There are many ways to support Brake’s campaigns, such as dropping a quick note to your MP, signing a petition or running activities in your community. Each page on their website has simple actions you can take, and you can keep up to date with their campaigns through a fortnightly e-bulletin, campaign blog, and on Twitter.

In our research, we discovered a report by The Institute of Advanced Motoring called ‘Licensed to Skill: Contributory Factors in Road Accidents’ and it provides food for thought.

The report shows that while we all use the term ‘accidents happen’, this implies that accidents are random events we can do nothing about.  Which may be true when the fault is not our own, but there is so much we can do to limit the likelihood of an accident.

For example, the number one cause of road traffic accidents is ‘driver or rider error or reaction’ which is involved in almost 70% of accidents. This does not include many of the issues which receive the most media coverage; such as speeding, drink driving, mobile phone use, tailgating, road rage and bad weather  –  all extremely important but not as frequently reported as ‘driver error’.

The next most common is ‘injudicious action’ meaning ‘travelled too fast for the conditions’– accounting for a quarter of all crashes. This doesn’t mean the driver was necessarily breaking the speed limit. Close behind this are ‘behaviour or inexperience’ factors – which are also involved in a quarter of all crashes. And when it comes to age, younger and older drivers and riders, (under 30 and over 70) have ‘error or reaction’ factors recorded in a larger proportion of cases than the rest of the population.

The report, which is available here, looks at other fascinating data such as time of day, urban and rural roads and seasonal issues, but it’s safe to say that the overarching message is that of responsibility. As drivers, we should not expect factors such as road signage, speed limits and the like to guarantee our safety; we still have to adapt our driving to meet the conditions.

At Harold Stock & Co Solicitors, we see the aftermath of too many road traffic accidents, where a split-second error may have caused someone long term suffering, so we recommend that you read the report if you have five minutes to spare. That way, you only need to know we’re there when it’s ‘Bright Friday’!

John Akinwunmi’s story.

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