The roads are a dangerous place. Whether you’re driving a car, motorcycle, lorry, van or bicycle, you’ll always face risks when operating a vehicle. But if you’re wanting to be safer while you’re out and about, it’s important to understand what the leading causes of accidents are, that way you’ll be able to avoid them or at least minimise the risk to yourself and others.
What causes car accidents?
There are a number of reasons that you could find yourself in a car accident, and while none of them are good experiences, there things that you can do as a driver to prevent a lot of them.
Speeding – we’ve all heard of the saying “speed kills” and it really does. Travelling above the speed limit is an easy way to cause an accident. By driving at or below the legal limit, you’ll be minimising the risk to yourself and others.
Drunk driving – you’ll have seen many adverts on TV and online curtesy of alcohol companies detailing the devastating impacts of drunk driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol causes accidents every day, even when this can be avoided.
Rain – unfortunately you can’t turn off the rain. You can however, be more cautious when driving in the rain. Water creates slick and dangerous surfaces for all kinds of vehicles.
Driving through a red light – when you drive through a red light you run the risk of causing an accident. These types of accidents can result in serious injuries or even death because of the side-impact collision.
Tailgating – a lot of accidents happen when drivers dangerously tailgate another driver at high speeds. You can prevent these by giving the car in front of you the appropriate stopping distance space.
Road rage – tailgating another driver in anger or speeding past another driver only to pull in front of them and brake, these road “ragers” cause many needless car accidents each year.
What should you do if you have an accident?
If you have an accident immediately afterwards you should stop the car as soon as possible, turn off your engine and switch on your hazards. Check for injuries to yourself and any passengers you might have. If it’s only a minor accident and there are no injuries, make a note of this in case other people later try to claim for an injury.
You’ll then need to call the police and an ambulance if anyone is hurt or the road is blocked. Remember to stay as calm as possible. Take a few deep breaths and don’t lose your cool. You should exchange your motoring details, including your name, address and insurance details, with everyone involved. If you’re able to, try and record as much information as possible including witnesses, makes, models, colours and number plates of all involved and the time and date of the crash. You’ll also want to notify your insurance company too.
What are the first steps if you need to claim for compensation?
If you have an injury and need to claim for compensation, specialist claims companies are there to offer you advice, services and support. No matter how minor or major your injury may be, claims businesses are there to be able to tell you whether or not you have a case, and will also help you through the process including providing aftercare support too.
Accidents can be life changing, but often preventable. By understanding what the leading causes are, you’ll be in a better position to be able to mitigate risks in the future.