Car accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence in the UK. With up to 28 million cars on our congested roads, the likelihood of two or more running into each other is quite high. So what are the most common causes of car accidents and car accident compensation claims? We will try to have a look at what the most common causes are and how they can be avoided.
The statistics that we will use in this article come from the Road Casualties in Great Britain Report 2008 by the Department of Transport. It is important to note here that the figures do not cover all car accidents, but just the incidents reported to the police where an injury was involved. These figures however cover a large majority of accidents, including all those of a serious nature. There are some slightly surprising figures to note. Firstly, accidents where drink or drugs were a contributing factor only amount for 6% of the total accidents. Secondly, the speed of a vehicle is only a contributing factor in 14% of accidents. So what is the most common cause of accidents, let’s take a look below. Please note the figures may add up to more than 100% as many accidents have more than one contributing factors.
Road Conditions - The state of the road is a contributing factor in 16% of road accidents. Such factors such as holes in the road, oil on the surface or poor markings are factored into this figure.
Vehicle Defects – Just 2% of accidents are caused by a mechanical problem with the car. Defective brakes and threadbare tyres are the most common accident causing defects.
Careless driving actions – 25% of accidents are caused by deliberately careless actions on the part of the driver. This includes speeding at 6%, driving too fast for the conditions at 9% and following a car too closely at 6%.
Driver error – By far the biggest single cause of road traffic accidents is driver error. This covers a lot of different scenarios, such as overshooting a junction or braking suddenly. Failing to look properly is the biggest factor, causing 37% of accidents. Losing control of the vehicle is the biggest cause of fatal accidents and is a cause in 15% of all accidents.
Impairment and distraction – This is an obvious cause of accidents to most of us, and a factor in 12% of incidents. Drink and drug use are a big factor here but so are conditions such as fatigue.
Driver behaviour or inexperience – Learner and inexperienced drivers can unfortunately be the cause of road traffic accidents. However, the largest influence on accidents in this category is reckless driving and driving in a hurry. This accounts for 15% of accidents.
Vision impairment – This appears as a reason in a staggering 10% of accidents. Snow, the sun and blind spots are just some of the reasons for driver vision impairment.
Pedestrian caused – 13% of accidents occur when only a pedestrian is injured. A common reason is that they failed to look properly before crossing the road.
Other – Other factors cause 4% of accidents. This can include anything from accidents involving emergency vehicles on call, to people opening their car door into the path of oncoming traffic.
Car accidents it seems are impossible to eradicate fully. From these statistics we can at least deduce some ways in which we can make our car journey safer. We can drive slower and pay full attention at all times. We can make sure our vehicle is kept in good mechanical condition as well. And what if the worst comes to the worst and we our injured in a car crash that wasn’t our fault? Then we can use a solicitor to make car accident compensation claims and get the money we deserve for suffering at the hands of the bad and unsafe drivers on the UK roads.
If you have suffered injuries in a car crash, you may be entitled to accident compensation .