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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Why people have car crashes

    Driving too closely to the person in front is a mistake that so many drivers make, it is no surprise that whiplash injuries are the most common result of car crashes in the UK.

    Many motorists seem to think that tailgating people is a method of intimidating them out of their way or letting them know what a hurry they’re in, whereas all it really achieves is to annoy the occupants of the vehicle in front or to make them more anxious.

    In 99% of cases, the driver of a car that strikes another from behind is adjudged to have caused any crash that may occur, which begs the question, why do it?

    At speed it’s also downright dangerous – the behaviour of some drivers on Britain’s motorways is nothing short of intolerable. Braking distance, as we are all told in our driving test, is a crucial element of road safety and something that too many drivers seemingly ignore. It depends on many variables – we could list figures that are probably of little real meaning in practical scenarios , so we’ll put it this way – if you’re three metres behind somebody when you’re both travelling at 70mph on the motorway, and a deer runs out in front of the car ahead, it’d be a miracle if you managed to avoid hitting them.

    The alternative is to swerve instinctively out of the way, and in all likelihood into the path of another vehicle. It just isn’t worth it. You will know when you’re too close to somebody without needing to think about it. The amount of road deaths reported each and every day demonstrates how easily and suddenly things can go wrong on the road. Saying ‘it won’t happen to me’ isn’t necessarily true.

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    Braking distances become even greater in poor light or in wet or greasy conditions. It is surprising how far a car can travel before its driver realises he/she needs to apply the brakes – and hard.

    Speeding causes car crashes

    It’s so obvious, but it is always worth re-stating. Speed kills. And in many cases, the sudden deceleration from speed also does the damage.

    Some drivers think they’re invincible. They tend to be males, and young males at that. But not always. There’s no point generalising anyway – no matter what age or what sex a driver is, if they use the road without consideration for other users, they could end doing extensive damage. What a lot of speeding drivers fail to grasp is that it’s not just them that contributes to an accident. So many of them say, ‘But I’m a brilliant driver,’ or ‘I’ve never had a crash yet.’

    Even the F1 world champion could end up coming to grief if they were driving at speed on the public road. The point is that at high velocity you don’t give yourself any time to react to the unexpected; if a car pulls out of a side turning in front of you it doesn’t really matter if you’re a fantastic racing driver – you’re going to hit it and the consequences are going to be very unpleasant.

    This is why speed limits are in place, but there are those that just don’t stick to them. Before long, it wouldn’t be surprising if new cars were fitted with speed restrictions, with the only vehicles allowed to breach limits those of the emergency services.

    Date Published: October 27, 2010

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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