Did you know that in 2015, 22,317 people were seriously injured in road traffic accidents in the UK? Accident Advice Helpline has helped hundreds of people to claim compensation for accidents, but what are the most common causes of car accidents and some of the top car accident excuses that people make for their mistakes whilst driving? We thought we would share some of our findings with you. A study of over 70,000 crashes in the UK between 2005 and 2009 revealed that driver error remains the main cause of car accidents – in fact, it’s a factor in over 65% of fatal crashes. So what are the top five car accident excuses that people make?
#1. I didn’t see the other car/motorcyclist/bike
This is top of our list of car accident excuses used by motorists in the UK. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings when driving at all times. Why do you think learner drivers are taught to ‘Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre’ on their lessons? Don’t forget to check your blind spot and drive a safe distance from the vehicle in front, to give you more chance to react if something unexpected happens.
#2. I only had one glass of wine
Did you know that drink driving is responsible for hundreds of accidents in the UK every year? Many drivers claim to be unaware that they are over the limit – and it’s true that this can be easy to do. So what is the legal limit in the UK? It’s currently 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath (that’s 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood). The problem lies in the fact that your body weight and height as well as the strength and size of your drink can all affect the number of units of alcohol in your drink. What’s enough to take one person over the limit may have little effect on another, and vice versa, so as a rule if you’re going to be driving, it’s best to avoid alcohol completely.
#3. I didn’t realise my speed
Sometimes it’s easy to drive a few miles over the speed limit without realising, but when you are zooming through a built-up area at 60mph or driving at 90mph on the motorway, you’re aware that you are going too fast. Speed is one of the most common causes of accidents as it’s all too easy to lose control of your vehicle. Speed can also lead to fatalities – in fact, a pedestrian is four times more likely to be killed if they are hit by a car travelling at 40mph rather than one travelling at 30mph. Just because the speed limit is 70mph on a motorway doesn’t mean you need to be travelling at that speed – adjust your speed according to factors such as how tired you are, how busy the road is and weather conditions.
#4. I couldn’t react in time
Quick reactions could be crucial when it comes to preventing an accident from happening. Being tired, being over the limit or taking drugs can all slow your reaction times. But even driving too close to another car or speeding may mean that you don’t have the time and space to react quickly enough to avoid a collision. This is one of the most common car accident excuses, and it really isn’t a valid excuse at all, as you should be travelling at a speed that gives you plenty of time to react to unexpected hazards.
#5. They ran out into the road
Animals, cyclists or pedestrians may sometimes appear to come out of nowhere, and it may seem that this is one of those car accident excuses which is actually valid. However, by checking your blind spot, using mirrors and sticking to the speed limit, you’re giving yourself time to react and staying aware of your surroundings, so that if anybody does run out in the road, you should be able to take action quickly enough to prevent an accident from happening.
Are car accident excuses the same the world over?
If driver error is the leading cause of accidents in the UK, do car accident excuses remain the same across the rest of the world? In the USA, where there are many long, straight freeways (as opposed to the often winding dual carriageways in the UK), a survey revealed that failing to stay in lane was the leading cause of road traffic accident fatalities across all states. Yet we are willing to bet that car accident excuses remain similar – people will always make excuses for their own negligent behaviour. The key thing to remember is that you are able to make a personal injury claim if somebody else caused your accident and you’ve been injured as a result.
How much compensation could you get for road traffic accident injuries?
The injuries you could sustain in a car accident could range from minor injuries such as whiplash, cuts and bruises, to serious, life-changing injuries that could leave you unable to work or live life to the full. Accident Advice Helpline has helped people who have suffered brain injuries after a car accident to claim compensation for their pain and suffering, as well as the cost of care now and in the future, and we have also helped hundreds of people who have suffered minor injuries like whiplash to claim the compensation they are entitled to. It doesn’t matter how minor or serious your injuries are – all that matters is that somebody else is liable, and they should be held accountable for your accident. You can get an idea of how much compensation you could be entitled to receive by taking the 30-second test on our website today.
How do I get in touch with you?
You could find out right now whether or not you have a viable claim after your accident by getting in touch with Accident Advice Helpline. Just call our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) and you can benefit from our expert advice, however you have been injured in a road traffic accident.