In 2016, there were 181,384 people injured in road traffic accidents in Britain. – 24,101 of whom were seriously injured and sadly 1,792 were killed.
The Department for Transport has reported that in 2016 one of the key causes of serious injuries from reported road accidents was driver / rider error.
What measures can be taken to limit these serious injuries?
There are a number of steps that can be taken to help eliminate road traffic incidents and also to help limit potential injuries in the event of an accident.
Vehicle safety and maintenance are so essential that they now form part of the UK Driving Test, in the form of ‘show me, tell me’ questions. – Maintaining a vehicle is vital both for economical reasons and for ensuring it is roadworthy and safe.
For example, underinflated tyres can have a significant impact upon the running of a vehicle. When tyres are underinflated, they can affect the handling and grip of a vehicle, resulting in less control, increased risk of skidding and increased braking distances.
Undertaking regular checks of your vehicle including, but not limited to tyre pressures, oil levels, light bulbs, screen wash levels and windscreen wipers can assist in ensuring your vehicle is safe and can be seen on the road.
The headrest within a vehicle should be altered for each driver and passenger for every journey. – It is only when the headrest is positioned correctly that it can offer the maximum support in the event on an accident. Headrests help to protect from whiplash and potential serious injury.
A headrest should be positioned as close to the back of the head as possible. The top of the headrest should be aligned to the top of the head.
It is now the law that child seats must be used for car travel for children up to the age of 12 or 135 centimetres tall (whichever comes first), with the appropriate seat aligned to their weight or height. – This law was introduced to provide additional safety for children in the event of an accident.
It is however imperative that car seats are fitted to the car correctly and in line with the manufacturers guidelines, to ensure that the safety systems of the seat and within a car operate as required in the event of an accident.
Breaks from Driving
Driving for long periods of time and long distances can result in tiredness and loss of concentration. Regular breaks should be built into any long distance journey to prevent potential incidents as a result of tiredness and reduced reaction times
Serious injuries can be caused as a result of our own and other drivers actions. It is therefore essential to be mindful of this in our approach to driving.
Sufficient braking distances, adhering to speed limits and abiding by road signage are not only the law but also factors that are in place to ensure our safety.
The above points only touch on some of the measures that can be taken to limit road accidents and the subsequent injuries that can all too often be caused.