Almost all of us take a journey on the UK’s roads every day, whether that’s as a driver of a car, a passenger on a bus or even on a bike. As a result, every year thousands of people are killed or injured following a serious accident on our roads. In 2018 alone, almost 2,000 people died after being involved in a collision – and plenty more were seriously injured.
Statistics show that young people are more at risk, as drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are a third more likely to die behind the wheel than people aged between 40 and 50. So what are the main causes of car accidents in the UK, and what can we do to try and avoid them?
For many car enthusiasts, feeling the power of the car beneath you can be quite a thrill. However, while most people try to keep this kind of driving for track days, some people regularly break the speed limit on normal roads. This can sometimes be to excessive levels and is more likely to occur on larger A roads than any other kind of road. Someone who is hit by a car travelling at 40mph is four times more likely to be killed than if they were hit by a car travelling at 30mph. It is therefore absolutely vital to keep an eye on the speedo when driving.
It’s been drummed into us from a young age that we shouldn’t drink or drive as it’s so dangerous. However even in 2019, one In six deaths on UK roads include someone who is over the UK drink drive limit. Alcohol can impair your ability to drive in a number of different ways. Not only can it blur your vision, but it can also slow down your reactions meaning that you will have even less time to brake in an emergency. Your ability to judge distance and sound is also adversely affected when you’re drunk, and many people also become over-confident when they’ve been consuming alcohol. As a result, drunk people are more likely to take risks while driving that can put other people’s lives in danger.
Lack of Concentration
We are all too familiar with that auto-pilot feeling that you can sometimes get behind the wheel. Maybe it’s a journey that you have completed many hundreds of times before, or you have just been very familiar with the roads for several years. Some motorists even admit to driving to the wrong place when using part of a familiar route simply because they ‘switched off’ while driving!
However, zoning out when behind the wheel can actually put you and others in serious danger of an accident. A recent study in the USA revealed that over half of all traffic accidents occurred within a five mile radius of the driver’s home.
This emphasis the importance of the fact that although you may know the roads well, it doesn’t mean that you will be able to predict all potential hazards that could get in your way – so stay alert to stay safe.
Pulling out at Junctions
Junctions exist for a reason, but there are people who fail to stop and look for oncoming traffic before pulling out into a road. Drivers failing to look properly account for almost 35% of all recorded traffic accidents. Out of all these collisions, 6 out of 10 of them prove to be fatal.
As well as drivers of other vehicles, motorcyclists and bicyclists are at severe risk from these types of collisions. Their risk of death is even greater as they are not protected by the body and crumplezone of the car.