There is no denying that the UK has some of the strictest laws when it comes to road safety. If you’ve ever taken a trip abroad, especially to countries in Southeast Asia, for example, you will have seen firsthand just how ‘strict’ our laws can seem in comparison. But even though we do have these safer laws, there are still fatal accidents happening on the roads year after year, with the statistics being near 2,000 each year. When you break that down, that is an average of just under five people each day who are dying on UK roads, which is so tragic. The number of deaths of people out on the road has also been seen to increase by around 2% year on year. That statistic in and of itself sounds bad, but there is also an increase in traffic each year too, and people out on the road, so in correlation, sadly, the stats do make sense.
When you compare to other countries, the statistics may not seem as bad. For example, in the US, there are around 500,000 trucking accidents that occur each year, with about 5,000 of those resulting in death. And that is just accidents that are truck related, meaning some big business for any truck accident lawyer. But even then, these stats are too high, and we all need to be taking steps to be safer when we’re out on the roads, wherever in the world that we live.
There is so much going on at the moment, in the country and around the world, what with politics, Brexit, and day-to-day disasters like mass shootings, that we can forget just about quite how serious of an issue road deaths are. But it is something that impacts all of us, whether you are a driver, a cyclist, or simply a pedestrian; it impacts us all.
So what are some of the things that are causing traffic accidents?
Road rage has got to be one of the main issues that any road users face each day. Serious accidents can happen as a result of road rage, and when you break down the stats, road rage is the cause of a worrying number of accidents. Road rage can be seen as anything from aggressively beeping your horn, flashing your headlights, swearing at others, tailgating, and following another road user, just because they might have annoyed you. These can all result in some serious crashes.
There has been a number of studies that have looked into this, and have found that around 35% of respondents in the survey thought that using their car horn as a way to express anger was a legal thing to do, when in fact, it is not. It also showed around 18% of people thought that flashing their lights at others on the road as a way to express anger was totally acceptable. But in reality, it isn’t as it can be a distraction and cause problems for other road users.
You might have encountered some negative experiences when you’ve been out on the road yourself, or you might have even been someone that has been honking your horn or flashed your lights in anger. But when you let something like anger take over, it can mean loss of control, and taking risks that you wouldn’t normally do.
Speeding is another issue out on our roads, and it is also an issue that does cause injuries and even death. But in studies, like the one linked above, it was found that many respondents found it acceptable to break the speed limit in certain circumstances, regardless of the impact that it could have.
Roads themselves could also be a part of the problem with road safety. For example, there are certain parts of the country that are considered more dangerous for drivers than other parts. Take driving through London, for example. Because of the high number of pedestrians, lane changes, cyclists, and high traffic volume, it naturally means that it is an area that is more dangerous to drive. However, when you look at actual fatalities, rural countryside roads are more likely to be where fatal crashes happen. There may be more bumps and low-impact crashes in cities, but you’re likely to be driving much faster on a country road as they’re quieter. Plus, extreme weather conditions like ice and snow can have a massive impact, particularly on country roads. So driving with caution at all times is a must for us all.