Some categories of personal injury claims for compensation change over the course of the year. The winter in the UK sees the peaking of personal injury claims for road traffic accidents, as bad weather makes travelling conditions more hazardous. Risk of injury from falling on ice or snow is the major hazard for pedestrians, especially as these can hide broken paving or damaged gulleys and drain covers.
Winter sports injury claims include skiing, snowboarding, skating and other snow or ice based accidents, the most common being claims on travel and medical insurance to get home early after an abandoned holiday.
Summer time sees a rise in boating accidents in rivers, lakes and marinas and many people get into difficulty swimming or surfing, although these incidents usually demand no more than responsive beach rescue teams.
Mountain climbing is always dangerous, at any time of year and the UK has seen not one, but two tragic losses of parties of climbers this winter.
At work, the highest number of injury claims results from falling from a height or being hit by moving vehicles or plant. Construction sites, oil rigs and fishing boats have long been recognised as amongst the most dangerous places to work, largely because so many variables apply and workers have to remain vigilant for long hours, which add to the hazard.
The most common personal injury claims are for road traffic accidents and in particular, for whiplash, head injuries and soft tissue damage, hardly surprising given the volumes and variety of traffic on Britain’s crowded roads. One group more vulnerable to accident and injury is cyclists, who do not have the protection of a metal box around them. It is a huge challenge for road designers and traffic planners to provide separate cycle lanes. In a green field scenario, it is easier to provide the extra lanes at the planning stage, but in our many higgledy-piggeldy historic cities, it’s nigh on impossible. Adapting the human-unfriendly big through routes of the 1960s, 70s and 80s is proving no easier. It is only in the last 20 years that the popularity and acceptance of cycling has started to rise.