According to the Department for Transport, there were a total of 140,086 road traffic accidents involving personal injury reported to the police in 2015. Of those accidents, 1,618 resulted in at least one fatality. There are many reasons behind these accidents but what are the most common causes?
Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
Each year many people die at the hands of drunk drivers. Alcohol causes a person to lose control of their functions and significantly slows reaction times down, resulting in serious accidents and subsequent injuries. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is: 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood in your body; 35 micrograms of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of breath and 107 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of urine. As a result it does not take much to go over the legal alcohol limit.
Unsurprisingly most fatigue-related incidents happen at night. Being tired can significantly reduce reaction times and can cause erratic behaviour such as sudden speed changes, veering into other lanes, braking heavily or late and not paying attention to other drivers.
Whilst many people drive over the speed limit without even realising they are doing so, speed is one of the main factors in fatal road accidents. It has been established that the faster you drive, the less time you have to react, leaving less time to prevent an accident from occurring. The risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph.
There are many ways in which a driver can become distracted when driving, from glancing at a mobile phone to adjusting radio. Currently we are acting for a client who was seriously injured when a driver (who was talking to his young daughter) lost concentration and ran into him at speed.
Adverse weather conditions can make it increasingly difficult to drive safely. Rain, snow and ice cause a slippery surface on the roads, whilst fog can reduce visibility making driving difficult.
If you are injured as a result of a Road Traffic Accident or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice by calling 0114 218 4000, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing this form.