Road traffic accidents


This week (19th – 25th November 2018) marks Brake’s annual Road Safety Week.

Brake is the UK’s largest road safety charity. Their aim is simple; prevent accidents from happening in the first place. They work tirelessly to “raise awareness about road safety and needless deaths and injuries year-round”. Road Safety Week is utilised to raise safety awareness. Where accidents have already occurred, they provide vital support to victims of road traffic accidents.

Legal systems and processes are under almost constant review as competing interests are picked up or put to the side by different governments. In recent years a number of reforms in the UK have been framed as addressing the “compensation culture” or making the court process simpler and more efficient.  However, the reality is that some of these measures risk eroding access to justice for those with genuine injuries, rather than making the process simpler.

Last week, Mo Salah was allegedly caught texting and driving by fans when leaving Anfield following their opening season match. The footballer can be seen behind the wheel of his vehicle with his mobile phone in hand and then can be seen pulling away from a crowd of fans. This is the latest example of celebrities flouting the law when it comes to driving offences. A few weeks ago, Katie Price reported herself to the police after driving while banned. She was banned from driving in February 2018 as a result of speeding.

Barely does a week go by where a hit in run doesn’t feature in the news. For most civilised and law abiding motorists this is probably the most heinous motoring crime a person can commit. Road Traffic accidents occur every minute on UK roads. However, whilst anyone who causes an accident is likely to feel guilty and in due course there may be arguments as to who was at fault, most motorists have the decency to pull over and check for injury. For most, liability is the last thing on their mind; and the safety and wellbeing of others take the front seat.

Driving on motorways used to require a full licence. However from 4th June 2018 that is no longer the case. Learner drivers will be permitted onto motorways, as long as they are with an approved driving instructor in a dual control car. This change is part of a raft of changes of late to better prepare young drivers and reduce road traffic accidents. The number of fatal or serious accidents involving young drivers has fallen each year since 2000. However, thousands of young drivers are involved in fatal or serious road traffic collisions each year. 17-24 year olds make up 1.5% of licence holders, yet are involved in 9% of the fatal and serious road traffic accidents each year.

The Police Federation has announced that it is calling for changes in relation to rules governing when police officers can, and cannot, pursue criminals who are fleeing via mopeds and motorcycles.

The pothole crisis in Scotland is growing and unfortunately, due to inadequate inspections or the failure to repair roads, many are at risk of sustaining an injury. What should you do if you find yourself in this situation?

Car insurance is one of life’s necessary evils. All motorists know they are under a legal obligation to take out car insurance to cover them in the event they are involved in an accident. Few drivers, however, are aware of the terms of their policy and, more importantly, what could invalidate their policy.

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