Road Safety Awareness Key In Combating Accidents


The Law Of... staying alert behind the wheel

As part of National Road Safety Awareness Month, Rose Gibson – Partner in Complex Personal Injury for Simpson Millar – explains the importance of road safety awareness and details some of the tragic road traffic collision cases she has dealt with.

Getting involved in road safety awareness is crucial in reducing the number of fatal road traffic accidents

Importance Of Road Safety Awareness

As a Personal Injury Lawyer that specialises in serious injury and fatal accident claims, Rose says that it is vital all road users are involved in road safety awareness.

Indeed, with the number of road traffic collisions on the rise in the UK, the response from charities and organisations have been swift and robust, with the following awareness campaigns taking place throughout the year:

Aside from minor fluctuations of a few percentage points either way, British roads do seem to be becoming safer, as government statistics highlight a huge fall in the number of road deaths from 2008 to present day.

Despite this, over 24,000 people were killed or seriously injured in the year ending March 2016, highlighting the fact that road safety campaigns still have a long way to go.

Talking of the personal cost of road traffic accidents, Rose explains:

"Having met so many people over the years who have lost loved ones, or suffered life changing injuries, I realise that I am still one of the lucky ones that has not (yet) been affected by serious injury or road death in my personal life."

"Professionally, of course, this is an entirely different story. From the father who was responsible for causing an accident resulting in his daughter’s blindness in both eyes to the surfer who lost his right arm and leg in an accident caused by a drunk driver, I am all too aware that we are all vulnerable on the roads, no matter how much care we take to be responsible road users."

Repentant Defendants

Having witnessed the aftermath of car accidents of all shapes and sizes, Rose believes that the random nature of luck places any road users at risk, highlighting the fact that the lives of entire families have been ripped apart as a result of a road traffic accident.

One of the key aspects of road safety awareness is managing speed and this is an aspect that Rose – who enjoys motorcycling and racing around track circuits – understands more than most.

Rose advises that it is crucial road users understand the separation between organised track events and the open road, as the very thrills that make us feel alive could also endanger the lives of ourselves and other road users.

"I thoroughly enjoy motorcycling and racing around a motor circuit, life is for living after all, but we need to manage these types of risks."

"I like to enjoy life to the full, but never at the expense of others. The thrills that make us feel alive have their place in managed events, where we adhere to rules and attempt to minimise risk as best we can."

"When we are on the open roads, we need to give thought to those more vulnerable drivers: the motorcyclists, the cyclists and pedestrians, along with those who perhaps drive a little slower than we might like."

"I have seen many Defendants in the dock giving evidence at criminal proceedings, clearly very repentant at their actions and perhaps wishing they had not had that last glass of wine that put them over the limit in the morning, or misjudged that bend in the road by travelling that little bit too fast."

Slip Of Concentration

The importance of road safety awareness is made all the more apparent when one considers the fact that it is not just those who are drunk or under the influence of drugs that cause accidents.

The latest figures show it is predicted that just 13% of total reported road fatalities involved at least one driver who was over the legal limit.

As Rose explains, it is not always malicious or intentionally dangerous road users that can cause life-changing or fatal accidents.

"Idiots apart, I have witnessed countless times an altogether average road user has ended up with the guilt of causing someone’s serious injury or death through a momentary lapse of concentration or a moment of impatience."

"In short, the truth is that by not staying aware, these things could affect any of us, be it as a victim or a perpetrator. We cannot always control what will happen, but we can certainly minimise risk by retaining control over that which we have the power to."

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