Back to School: Road Safety

As children across Scotland get ready for their first day back at school, many parents will be breathing a sigh of relief that their kids will finally be back in the classroom after a tumultuous year, and they can hang up their ‘teacher’ hats after intense periods of homeschooling.

However, whilst we inch closer towards normality and away from the risks of COVID-19, there’s a considerable risk to children that remains ever-present – the risk of road traffic accidents.

The RAC Foundation recently reported that child fatalities from road traffic accidents actually increased in 2020 to 52 reported child casualties, an increase from 49 casualties in 2019. A cause for even more concern is that almost half of all accidents on UK roads take place during the school run. In a study conducted by Admiral, they found that 43% of road traffic accidents throughout the UK occur during 8am and 9am and 5pm and 6pm. The increase of traffic during peak rush hour times, resulting in more stressed drivers on the road, can be a deadly combination for children walking to school especially in urban locations.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we understand the worry that parents will have over their child’s safety. If your child has suffered an injury that wasn’t their fault, you could raise a personal injury claim on their behalf. We have significant experience handling these types of claims and will work tirelessly to obtain your child the highest compensation possible. If you have any questions, get in touch today, or keep reading for our top road safety tips to make the school run that much safer.

 

Walking to School Safety Tips

  • Walk to school with your children until you are confident that they can do so safely by themselves
  • Make sure your children are familiar with the safest route possible, and encourage them to walk with friends so they’re not alone
  • Encourage your children, especially during the darker nights in winter, to wear something bright or fluorescent when walking to or from school, to make sure drivers can see them
  • Advise your children to only use the pedestrian crossings to cross the road and to only walk on the pavements and footpaths
  • Stop Look and Listen – make sure road safety is a conversation with your children and teach them how to crossroads safety and what hazards they should look out for

 

Driving Road Safety Tips

  • Make sure your children are wearing seatbelts and are sat in the appropriate child seat if necessary
  • Keep an eye out for school zone signs and reduce your speed the minute you approach the area surrounding a school
  • Be sure to obey any lollipop men or women who may be helping children cross the road
  • Be hyper vigilant as children may cross the road at an inconvenient time or in an unexpected place, due to a lack of road awareness
  • Reduce your speed, no matter how much of a rush you might be in and be aware of both the speed limit and any speed bumps

 

If your child has been injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

How to Stay Safe on the Roads This Summer

How to Stay Safe on the Roads This Summer

As UK lockdown measures are beginning to ease and the weather is slowly heating up as we head into the summer months, it’s predicted that ‘staycations’ will be the most holiday of choice for many across the UK, whilst travel abroad remains relatively restricted.

Combined with more people heading back into work and an increase in people travelling for social reasons, there will be a significant rise in cars returning to the roads. Unfortunately, the more cars there are on the roads the higher the risk of road traffic accidents. Especially as many drivers have had some time off driving during the lockdown, it’s understandable people might be feeling a little rusty behind the wheel, especially if they are setting off on a midsummer road trip.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we have significant experience handling these types of claims so if you are injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch today or keep reading to find out our top tips to staying safe as we all get back behind the wheel.

 

Safety Checklist

Taking some sensible precautions before getting back behind the wheel for the first time in a while, could help you and others to stay safe, as well as helping you to avoid committing any motoring offences. If your car has been sat stagnant in your driveway or garage through lockdown, make sure to check your tyres, engine oil and breaks are all to standard before you set off. Also, it’s worth double-checking that your vehicle tax or insurance hasn’t expired in the time you haven’t been driving.

 

Summer Considerations

If we’re lucky enough to get a hot summer in the UK, make sure you take this into account before you set off on any longer road trips. The heat can cause a host of problems from dehydration to tiredness behind the wheel so try to keep your car as cool as possible, make sure to keep yourself hydrated and always remember your sunglasses. If you’re using a sat nav to guide your trip, make sure it’s positioned safely before you set off somewhere where it’ll be safe from any screen glare.

 

Drive on the Left

Did you know that approximately two-thirds of the global population drive on the right-hand side of the road? The UK, alongside just 75 other countries, compromise the other third who choose to drive on the left-hand side of the road. As such, although we can likely expect less tourists on UK roads this year as travel restrictions remain commonplace, it’s worth keeping in mind especially in tourist spots that there may be drivers around you who aren’t as familiar with our rules of the road. The best course of action? Stay calm, be extra careful when driving on roads that are less familiar and keep on the lookout for other drivers who may make sudden turns or stops.

 

Be Alert

Whether a tourist or not, many drivers may be lacking confidence if they haven’t driven for some time. Misjudging another driver’s speed or path is one of the most common causes of road traffic accidents in the UK. Examples include misjudging a gap when pulling out of a junction or when attempting to negotiate a busy roundabout. Another is to wrongly assume that another vehicle will make the manoeuvre that you expect them to make. Whilst anticipating the actions of another driver is an essential driving skill, never assume that the action you’d take would be the exact same for another driver.

 

Know Your Surroundings

If you are driving on one of the many single-track roads in the UK, whilst you may feel more confident knowing the rules of the road more than a tourist would, before driving we’d recommend a quick refresh of the rules of single-track road driving. Do stop in designated passing places to let approaching traffic pass and for other motorists to overtake, however do not park or block a passing place. Keep a close eye out for cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, as well as sheep and wild animals. Make sure you have a full tank of fuel before you set off and take it slow, it’ll make the road safer for everyone.

 

What do I do if I am Involved in a Road Traffic Accident?

If you are involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. It’s very important that you gather as much information and evidence as possible at the time. This includes:

  • The registration, make and model of the vehicle
  • The date, time and location of the accident
  • The other drivers name, address, contact details and insure details
  • Videos or photographs of the scene, if possible, to back up your claim
  • The contact details of any witnesses
  • If required, seek medical attention as soon as possible and report to your GP following any admissions to the hospital
  • Always report the accident to the police

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

 

 

 

 

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety

 

Pedestrians are amongst the most vulnerable people on UK roads. Whilst there are many different methods of transportation that we can take advantage of, at one point or another, everyone is a pedestrian. Unfortunately, without the protection of a vehicle, or any safety equipment, pedestrians are vulnerable to serious injury. This can range from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones, to serious life-changing injuries.

 

Tragically, in 2019, pedestrians accounted for 27% of all road traffic accident fatalities in the UK, which was the highest proportion of any group besides car occupants.

 

Behind the statistics, are real people who are struggling with the consequences of being in a pedestrian accident.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we understand that if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, you may be facing distressing and uncertain times and might be unsure of what to do next. This blog will guide you through your next steps, as well as our top tips for staying safe as a pedestrian.

 

What to Do If You’re in a Pedestrian Accident?

  • Seek Medical Attention

Of course, the priority is to ensure that you’re out of harm’s way and that the emergency services have been called. Even in the case of minor injuries, it’s important to see your GP after in case your condition worsens.

  • Report the Accident

All road traffic accidents involving injury must be reported to the police and you should obtain a police report/incident number.

  • Take Photographs

If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident, the surrounding area, and your injuries.

  • Collect Information

Make sure to exchange details with the driver/s involved in the accident, as well as anyone who might have witnessed it.

 

Our Top Tips for Pedestrian Safety

  • Stop, look, listen.
  • Stay alert, don’t be distracted by electronic devices such as your phone that can take your attention off the road.
  • Choose a safe place to cross the road, such as at a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights.
  • Even at a pedestrian crossing, always pause before you step onto the road and check both directions to ensure there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Don’t assume a driver has seen you. Always try where possible to make eye contact before you cross.
  • If there is a footpath, use it. If not, stick to the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic, and keep as close as possible to the side of the road.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

Think Bike: Safety on the Road

Think Bike: Safety on the Road

Think Bike Safety on the Road

Think Bike Safety on the Road

 

The number of people choosing to cycle, whether it be for the health benefits or as a way to get to work, has significantly increased in recent years within the UK – with an astonishing 3.2 billion miles cycled on our roads every year.

Unfortunately, cyclists are also amongst the most vulnerable road users within the UK and there is a serious risk from not only poor road conditions or faulty equipment, but also inattentive drivers.

In fact, when the UK began its first lockdown in 2020, the month of March saw cyclist fatalities double the average for that time of year, with 14 cyclists in Great Britain and one in Northern Ireland victims in road traffic incidents.

While this wasn’t a long-term trend and there are fewer cars on the road, we don’t want the risks of cycling to outweigh its clear benefits which are it is economical, environmentally friendly, and a fun way to get around. So, how can we make sure that cyclists and drivers are looking out for each other and keeping one another safe on the road?

 

Safety Tips for Cyclists

  • Ride decisively and make sure to keep clear of the kerb
  • Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet
  • Always wear high visibility and reflective clothing, especially after dark
  • Make sure to always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
  • Avoid riding up the inside of vehicles as you may not be seen
  • Use appropriate hand gestures to signal left/right turn taking
  • Take extra care at junctions and roundabouts, and make sure to give clear timely signals

 

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Always keep an eye out for cyclists
  • Check for cyclists before pulling out at a junction, when doing a manoeuvre or when changing lanes
  • Take an extra look in your mirrors and blind spots
  • Leave plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist
  • Be aware of Advanced Stop Lines. These allow increased visibility for vulnerable road users such as cyclists. You must stop at the first white line if the traffic light is amber or red and when the green light shows, allow the road user time and space to set off
  • The lower your speed, the less risk you are to a cyclist, so take extra care to drive a little slower in residential areas and areas without cycle lanes

 

If you do find yourself injured due to a cycling accident, you may be due compensation if the accident was caused by the actions of another road user, if the road or cycle lane was in poor condition, or if your injury was due to an equipment failure.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our no win no fee solicitors.

Driving: Staying Safe During Winter

Driving Staying Safe During Winter

Each year, as the weather turns colder and harsher, we see increasing numbers of road accidents and resulting injuries which vary in severity with anything from a bump or bruise, to whiplash and irreparable damage or in some cases, even death. 

And although this year there are less people on the road, with COVID-19 restrictions encouraging people to stay home where possible, its more important than ever to make sure you take all the necessary measures to ensure road safety this winter. 

 

What Can I Do?  

 

  1. Tyres. 

    Ensure that you have the right tyres that are appropriate for the weather conditions in your area. For some, you may be able to keep your normal tires, such as in cities, but if you live further afield where the weather may be colder, consider swapping our ‘for winter’ tyres which have a thicker tread. 

 

1- Make allowances. 

If you’re driving in icy conditions, remember that you need to allow for much more time to get where you are going and space between you and other vehicles when breaking.  

 

2- Leave extra time.

 Many people get into accidents purely because they are rushed. Ensure you have at least an extra ten minute cushion so you have time to properly clear all windows of ice and/or snow, and effectively de-fog your windows. 

 

3- Plan ahead.

 Make sure you know your route before you set off to avoid getting stuck somewhere. We also recommend using major roads where possible as these are more likely to be salted and be monitored by road accident companies or city council traffic services. 

 

4- Stay seen.

 Make sure all your lights are working properly to ensure visibility. If you need to use your fog light, remember to turn them off once you get into clear air so as not to hurt the eyes or impair other drivers. 

 

Safety is always first, so remember to check all these things to ensure you and your family are safe on the roads this winter. 

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our Serious injuries claim, no win no fee solicitors