Road traffic accidents (RTAs) can happen at any time and in any place, but did you know that there are more RTAs in December than in any other month? The amount of accidents increase by around 30% for women and 9% for men. This time of year, not only are the roads slippery and hazardous, especially if they are covered in snow, but you can encounter extremely aggressive drivers who just want to get home for Christmas. That’s why it’s extremely important that you keep your distance and make sure you are as safe as you can when you are out on the road.
This year, Christmas is going to be very different. With the second lockdown in place, Christmas with family is going to be reserved for the 23rd- 27th December. For these are the dates you are allowed to travel between tiers to create a Christmas bubble. That means on the 23rd December, there are going to be a lot of drivers on the road, or people trying to crowd onto public transport. That’s why we want to give our advice on how you can travel safely to get home to your loved ones without experiencing an accident.
However, if you have recently been involved in a traffic collision due to bad winter weather or aggressive driving, you could be owed compensation. Gowing Law Solicitors will be here to get you the compensation that you deserve. Get in contact with our law firm via the link below. We would be more than happy to help!
The Lockdown Update: Christmas & Road Safety
Now, before we move onto road safety and road traffic accidents, it’s important that we chat about the current pandemic and what it means for the Christmas holidays. For the last 8 months we have been in a mix of lockdown, tiered restrictions and Covid-19 based cautions. Right now, you may feel the urge to try and get on the roads as early as possible in order to get to your family quickly. The roads may be quieter, but you may be breaking your local lockdown rules.
Unless you are a student that has been allowed to be tested and travel back to their families, it’s better to look up your local lockdown rules and plan your journey accordingly. The tier system will finally be put in place after the 2nd December, therefore it is up to you to look things up about meeting people, restaurants and where you go for the Christmas holidays. We would suggest that you make your plans with caution. Whilst it may be difficult to not go all out for Christmas, you may want to create a minimalistic affair. That way you can protect your loved ones.
Weather Warnings & Christmas Driving
During that small time period where the tiered system is lifted for around 3-4 days, you may try to plan your journey up to see your loved ones. The weather is getting colder and you may find that the weather conditions of the road make it easier for you to get into an accident. Blustery winds, snow, rain, ice, and most dangerous of all, black ice, may become environmental hazards that could pull your vehicle from the road.
Unsafe road conditions could cause you to have an accident. Not every road is going to be kept in great condition. Roads that are constantly being used by oncoming traffic, or perhaps have been in a state of disrepair for quite a long time, may have potholes, cracks and uneven paving. This can only get worse in the winter when ice may expand and contract the road. If something is in disrepair, wintery conditions will only make it worse.
Before you go out onto the road, the best way to avoid road traffic accidents is to plan your route carefully. You can use Google Maps to what the roads look like and also see if there are any faster ways you could travel. You can use public transport if you desire, but keep in mind that it’s highly likely that these are going to suffer from cramped conditions, even if there is a travel tsar monitoring the conditions of trains.
It’s also important to consider going out on the road when there are quieter hours. Keep in mind that for some people this may mean leaving at night. But if this happens, you will also have to worry about the darkness, tiredness and any car light glare due to the reflection on the road.
Road Traffic Accidents & Road Rage
Another thing you need to watch out for when you’re on the road are other drivers. Both you and other drivers have a responsibility to keep each other safe through your actions. This is known as a duty of care. You need to respect this by making sure you obey the rules of the road. Unfortunately, not all drivers act kindly towards other people. Instead, during the Christmas season, their main objective is to go present shopping or get home after they have booked in their work holidays. That means they’re liking going to be rushing or even speeding on the road. Sometimes they may even break the speed limit or try to overtake you on the road. This can cause road traffic accidents that were not your fault.
If you end up being on the road with an impatient or angry driver, the best thing that you can do is try to give them space and overtake you. In some cases, you may find they get aggressive towards you directly by shouting insults or beeping their horn inappropriately. Try to relax and ignore them. Simply let them go ahead and try to ignore the things they say. If all else fails, and they are following you and acting dangerously, you can call the appropriate authorities to try and diffuse the situation.
Here are some pointers to help diffuse an angry driver situation:
Road Traffic Accidents & Injuries
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be as careful as you when you go out driving on the road. We understand that under the current circumstances, people will want to try and get back to their loved ones as quickly as possible. When the 23rd December rolls around, it will not be a surprise if the roads become crammed full of people trying to see their family for Christmas. That’s why it is more likely that if people set off on longer journeys, they may end up in an accident due to bad weather conditions, traffic jams or impatient drivers. Not only that, but with the shops opening for 24 hours a day, you may find that impatient or tired shoppers may end up getting into a road traffic accident.
We stated before, each driver of a vehicle has a responsibility to those they meet on the road. This includes pedestrians and smaller vehicle operators. That means if you get hurt due to someone else’s negligent behaviour, you could claim compensation from them. Negligence can come in many forms when it comes to road traffic accidents. It includes:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Eating/drinking/smoking whilst driving
- Not watching the road
- Taking a phone call
- Becoming the aggressor on the road
The end result will always be the same if you are negligent driver. You will cause someone to suffer from road-related injuries. The severity of your injuries may range from minor whiplash to crushed limbs. Either way, you will need medical attention make sure you are okay!
What should I do if I am involved in a road traffic accident?
Now that you are aware of the dangers of driving on the road during winter, it’s time to learn what you should do if you are involved in a RTA. Traffic accidents are all different and some people may have worse injuries than other. That’s why we want to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
If you have been hurt, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. Call an ambulance and make sure there are police on the scene of the accident. That way you have police report made about the incident. You should also get the insurance details and licence plate of the other person involved in the accident.
Make sure to also take some time to look for evidence about the accident. You need to prove that you were not responsible for the accident. Instead, you were a victim of the other person’s negligence. Therefore, you should consider the following evidence to prove your case:
- Photographs of your injuries, your vehicle and the environment
- Video footage, dash-cam or CCTV footage
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Medical reports
- Diary entries
How much could I get from a successful road traffic accident claim?
Quite honestly, the amount of compensation you get from your claim depends on the extent of your injuries and how bad your damages are. That’s why it’s very important that you actually speak to your solicitor about what you have suffered from. You will also want to give them as much evidence as possible to back up your case. The more evidence you have, the more likely that you will be able to get the highest amount of compensation possible. You will also be able to prove that you are not responsible for the accident. Instead, you were a victim of the accident.
Your solicitor can help you estimate how much of a pay-out you can receive. Make sure to work with them to ensure that you can figure out your settlement agreement together.
How long will it take to make a claim?
With the current pandemic and delays of the UK court system, it may take a little longer than anticipated to have a successful RTA claim. So, be patient with your solicitor. They can help you plan out a timeline for how long the claim will take. Make sure to ask them about any questions that come to mind. Your lawyer can also let you know if there are any potential problems that could slow down your claim. You may also want to prepare for any type of remote hearings on your computer.
What else is Gowing Law Solicitors doing for Christmas?
Right now, Gowing Law is focusing on PPI tax claims and Marriage tax Claims to make sure our clients get their pay-outs during the Christmas period. However, we are also preparing to host a few giveaways and competitions to get you into the Christmas spirit. Those combined with Christmas themed blogs, videos and newsletter should ensure that you feel the Christmas spirit all the way through December.
Keep an eye on our social media to learn more about what we are giving away!
Contact Gowing Law Solicitors about your road traffic accident claim
Here at Gowing Law, we are ready to help you make a successful compensation claim for a road traffic accident. For starters, our solicitors can give you free advice and consultations. If you are happy to work with us, we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will always come out on top and you will never need to pay any hidden fees. We will always be upfront about our costs if we have a successful case.
Read more about road traffic accident claims
Here at Gowing Law, we are proud of our blog! We update it every week with brand new content. Our legal firm understands that you have a lot of questions. That’s why are blogs can answer your questions about personal injury claims. We also write about our seasonal events. Make sure to also click our socials below to find out more information about our latest giveaways and competitions. If you have any suggestions about our blog, makes sure to send them into firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be more than happy to write about them.
We look forward to seeing you in our next blog. Happy Christmas!