Wednesday 24 April 2024

The importance of safe driving

During the lockdowns, many people worked from home. With outlets closed and only essential travel allowed, UK roads and motorways became quieter than ever before, but by May 2021 traffic was back to pre-pandemic levels.

With everyone back to the regular commute and the school run well underway, it quickly became business as usual but according to a BBC Panorama investigation, the fatality rate has risen by 5%, which is the first major rise in 40 years. The investigation put a lot of this down to cuts to police traffic officers and a reduction in regular speed checks, making our roads more dangerous.

To counter this, it’s crucial that we know how to drive safely.

The impact of dangerous driving

The importance of driving safely cannot be overstated. Losing concentration for even a moment can result in a collision. However, consistently driving dangerously can be catastrophic. This is more than slipping into bad habits; it’s about regularly speeding or behaving recklessly on the roads.

As well as the significant increase in the number of fatalities on UK roads, life-changing injuries are also a real risk. Brain injuries are a particularly significant result of dangerous driving. There were over 350,000 admissions to hospitals in 2019-20 for acquired brain injury, revealing how common this type of trauma is.

For those involved in a road traffic accident (RTA), there’s a real risk of a serious brain injury – and in the space of a few seconds, your life can change completely. Brain trauma can mean stopping work, making changes around the home, and attending regular hospital appointments. It can lead to low moods and a dependency on family and friends.

There are also financial implications. It may be that the person with a brain injury is entitled to compensation, which could relieve some of the added pressure, especially if they’re unable to go to work – this would be the case if the road traffic accident wasn’t their fault. Experienced brain injury solicitors are able to find out what happened and work out of it’s possible to claim damages for what happened.

The benefits of driving safely

It can be easy to forget that you’re driving a tonne of metal, especially if you’ve been a motorist for a while. As well as avoiding killing someone or causing them significant life-altering injuries, there are other reasons to make sure you’re a safe motorist.

First, it’s good for your wallet. Driving safely by sticking to the speed limit and not rapidly accelerating and braking makes you fuel efficient and is less likely to damage your car, meaning you won’t have to pay for expensive repairs.

Additionally, there are legal implications. Even if you don’t end up in a major RTA, being a dangerous driver can land you in court. You could end up with a driving ban or being disqualified. It may be that you have to pay a fine and if you cause a major incident, you could end up going to prison.

If you’re unsure of what is required of you on the road, it’s worth brushing up on the Highway Code and reminding yourself of the laws and regulations around driving safely.

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