Tag Archive | "road traffic accidents"

With Age Comes Experience

Here’s a New Year  resolution for you. The next time you are out driving and come up behind an old car – usually a Rover 25 – being driven by what appears to be Gollum’s dad wearing a flat cap, spare a thought and have a bit of charity because, by the grace of your deity, one day this will be you. Only after you’ve done this is it acceptable for you to overtake whilst muttering “shouldn’t be allowed on the road” under your breath.

Only now, you can’t even do that because older drivers, it is established, are just as safe as anybody else – and that’s official. They might well be slower but that’s just because they have a better attitude to road safety and deal with hazards in a more experienced way. So there.

Historically, it has often been accepted that as a person ages so their reactions become sluggish and the opportunity for disaster is increased. To an extent this is correct but a recent survey reports that drivers over the age of seventy five reacted just as quickly as any other age group in a straightforward emergency situation – the sudden appearance of a car out of a side road, for example. The effects of old age – less physical mobility, sight problems and so on don’t make that much difference. Apparently, drivers over 70 make up some 9% of motorists but only 6% of the casualty statistics.

The reasons are probably obvious. Older people do not drive as fast and they leave larger gaps behind leading cars. These old codgers don’t have it all their own way though as they are likely to make less use of the rear view mirror and have a habit of stopping short at junctions.

It is officially recommended that ageing motorists get the once-over from their GP to check on things like arthritis or similar debilitating problems as needed for their general fitness to drive. We are all advised to take regular breaks and refreshments on long journeys but, it is suggested, the aged ones should maybe take more. With driving, good observation is vital. Older drivers can misinterpret or misjudge situations which may well be why they tend to drive more sedately.

So give these old timers a break. Old age comes to us all and, at some point, there will come a time when we’ll know in our heart of hearts that it is time to hand over the keys. But look on the bright side – when you are in your dotage and a passenger in your family’s car you can look out the window at the ageing slowcoach in front and hurl abuse as you flash by. It’s your entitlement.

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The Increased Risk Of Road Accidents In Winter

Road accidents can and do occur at all times of the year, but conditions can be particularly treacherous in winter. Snow and ice can make braking and cornering much more difficult, and this in turn leads to an increased risk of collisions.

Throughout the winter months, road traffic accident solicitors deal with many cases involving both vehicles and pedestrians. Drivers should be aware of the need to take extra care while driving in adverse weather, as snow in itself is not an excuse nor Defence for those involved in an accident.

Driving safely to avoid accidents on the road

The primary solution to this issue is for drivers to simply use caution. It is perfectly acceptable to lower your speed and avoid any sudden braking and acceleration if the roads are wet, icy or there has been snowfall. Indeed, under these circumstances it may be considered by some to be reckless to drive as you would in normal weather conditions.

Slowing down and fitting your vehicle with winter tyres also means you can brake more effectively if the need arises as the tyres will offer you better grip in winter conditions. Every driver knows that if you are driving at speed it takes longer to stop, and this is only magnified by an icy or wet road. Put the two together and it may be too late to stop yourself from causing an accident, which is something any victim’s road traffic accident solicitor is sure to record against you.

Is your journey really necessary?

This is the most common question of all when the weather causes the roads to be less than friendly. Simply put, if your journey can wait, or you can deal with your errand by phone or email, then that’s what you should do.

Earlier this year, another interesting study from Cardiff University and car insurance company Young Marmalade showed that illness could also be a common cause for an increased number of road accidents in winter.

Their findings showed that flu or cold-ridden drivers who get behind the wheel only retain 50% of their driving ability, with concentration and reaction times negatively affected. Researchers claimed that the effect of the illness on the driver was the equivalent of “four double whiskies”, and was therefore equivalent to driving drunk.

While the law may not necessarily take every report of this nature into account, it is true that road traffic accident solicitors representing victims will look for anything they can find to help show that their client was not to blame.

What to do if you are involved in a road accident

Whatever your involvement, you should contact a solicitor immediately. Most firms will have people specifically trained to deal with road traffic accident cases and their expertise will prove invaluable whether you are making a claim or defending against one.

A good road traffic accident solicitor will firstly ensure you receive the appropriate medical care you need, while other expenses such as missed work and vehicle repair costs can be factored into any claim too, so getting help from a qualified solicitor is vital to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Orbis Solicitors are based in Lancashire and have years of experience dealing with road traffic accident claims. They also specialise in employment law and all types of personal injury cases.

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