Data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has this week revealed that the top killer of adolescents around the world is road traffic accidents, which were responsible for 1 in 10 deaths in that age group in 2015. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the fatalities were males between the ages of 10-19.
Why is that the case? Is it inexperience? Is it overconfidence? The Government needs to take a long hard look at the current driving test and consider whether recent changes could go further. My colleague, Alan Calderwood, wrote an excellent blog on the tests that are used in countries like Sweden.
Fatal road traffic accidents appear to be becoming an everyday occurrence in modern Britain, despite increased media attention and campaigns by the likes of Brake. In 2015, there were 1,804 people killed on UK roads with more than 22,000 people more seriously injured in crashes. Men accounted for 76% of road traffic crashes in 2015.
Perhaps the most blunt statistic is that 5 people die every day on the road in the UK. However, even that doesn’t quite show the full story. That’s five families torn apart every day in the UK. A sudden death to a family member can cause years of pain and agony. There may be an inquiry into the death or even a criminal prosecution. That can be several years down the line to allow evidence to be gathered and reports to be completed. Whilst the memories of witnesses may have faded by the time of the trial or inquiry, the pain will be as raw as ever for the victim’s family.
In addition, the prospect of a successful civil claim is rarely going to be of any comfort, but it can be very necessary, particularly if the victim was the main “breadwinner” in the family. Most people will base their finances on the prospect of two wages coming into the household and when one of those is removed unexpectedly, it can cause a financial burden on top of an unimaginable emotional burden as well.
There is never going to be a “happy” ending for those families, but, at Thompsons we have a dedicated road traffic team with extensive experience of successfully pursuing with claims arising out of fatal road traffic accidents. We will guide you along every step of the way, from the outset of the case to the very conclusion.
Visit our serious and fatal injuries section for further information.
Blog by Ross Waddell