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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.

Can I Claim If I’ve Been Hit By A Drunk Driver?

Can I Claim If I’ve Been Hit By A Drunk Driver – Drunk driving accident claim

Despite stringent laws and social pressure, drunk driving is still a serious problem within the UK. On average, around 3,351 people are injured and 666 deaths are recorded due to drunk driving incidents every year. Most would never consider anything so dangerous and disrespectful of human life as drunk driving, but we may not be able to control whether or not we might encounter a drunk driver on the road: so what steps can we take to stay safe?  

 

  1. Be safe. 

    Always encourage people around you who have been drinking either to stay home, get a taxi or use public transport – the national drink-drive limit in Scotland is just 22mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath or 50mg of alcohol for 100ml of blood. This means that just one drink is too much to drive safely. However, these can change depending on where you are in the country, so be sure to check the drink driving limits where you are to avoid any penalties. 

 

  1. Stay alert

     If you see someone driving on the road and you suspect they may be driving under the influence of alcohol, keep your distance, and have a passenger in the car phone 999 to report the location of the vehicle and the license plate number. 

 

  1. Be vigilant during peak times.

     There is more drink driving arrests over the weekend on Friday and Saturday nights. BE sure to be especially vigilant at these times late at night when pubs, clubs and other establishments are likely to close. 

 

Can I claim if I’ve been hit by a drunk driver? 

Yes – if you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you could be due compensation either for your injury or even for mental trauma.  

Firstly, if you suspect the driver of the other car has been drinking, call the police to issue a breathalyser test. 

Secondly, following the incident, be sure to gather as much evidence at the scene as you can. This could be by taking photos with your phone, possibly asking for witness statements from people who may have seen the accident and taking down the drivers details.  

Finally, if for whatever reason you are unable to gather evidence at the scene, possibly due to the nature of your injuries, make sure to get a police report following the accident. 

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 solicitorsroad traffic accident claim.

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

Firework Safety

Firework Safety

 

During the Autumn months, we all look forward to events that bring some cheer and excitement to the dark hours of the day. Although fireworks associated with New Year’s Eve and Guy Fawkes night are a visual treat for the whole family, it’s important to remember the danger involved.  

 

During this time of year, we expect to see a rise in anti-social behaviour, especially in the days surrounding bonfire night. Due to the lack of responsible adults who buy fireworks, and the severity of injuries that can be caused by mishandling, or malfunctioning fireworks, the Scottish government has proposed several new rules regarding the sale and use of fireworks which are expected to be implemented. In the meantime, here are five tips to keep you safe this year.  

 

1. Don’t DIY. The simplest way to keep safe around fireworks is to leave the handling of them to the professionals. Instead of buying your own and setting off fireworks in your back garden or street, perhaps spend this Guy Fawkes night with a cosy night in as most fireworks displays have been cancelled due to COVID-19.   

 

2. Buy right. If you do decide to set off your own fireworks, be sure the ones you buy carry the CE mark. This means that the fireworks have passed the British European safety standards.  

 

 3. Safe Space. Make sure that if you are purchasing and setting off your own fireworks that you are doing so in a safe place and are mindful of your neighbours. Make sure the area surrounding your launch site isn’t crowded with debris that could catch fire from the fuse being lit. It is also worth making sure that where you set off your fireworks are a safe distance away from your home and any neighbours as sometimes fireworks can be lit and accidentally knocked off course and cause damage or worse injury to onlookers. 

 

4. Never approach a firework that has already been lit. There are many cases of severe burns and injuries due to people returning to a firework that is taking longer than usual to go off. Remember that fireworks are incredibly dangerous explosions and must be treated with extreme care.  

 

5. One Person Rule. Only have one person doing the lighting of the fireworks. This means that there is only ever one person at risk if something goes wrong. Remember to keep children well back from the launch site of your fireworks and only ever light one at a time.  

 

6. Be alert. You must always be “switched on” if you are around fireworks as they could malfunction even if you carefully follow all instructions and do everything correctly. Be aware when you are out and about as well as anti-social behaviour with fireworks is expected around this time of year, and there are always cases of people setting off fireworks down residential streets.  

 

Although fireworks are delightful to watch, we must remember that they are extremely dangerous and should be treated with the utmost caution and care. If you are participating in a bonfire or fireworks display, take all precautions, ensure children are supervised at all times, and enjoy the displays from a safe distance.  

 

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 solicitors.  

Care Home Negligence Making a Claim

Care Home Negligence: Making a Claim

 

We all care for our relatives, and it can be a very difficult decision to move elderly family members into care homes. Thankfully, most care homes in the UK uphold an excellent standard of care and ensure the safety and wellbeing of your loved ones. There are, unfortunately, some care homes that may be operating below an acceptable standard of care.  

 

What are the most common injuries in care homes?  

  1. Falls.

Injuries due to falls are the most common within care homes, however, with the right risk assessment and supervision, falls should not be happening even if a resident is at high risk. If a family member who lives in a care home has experienced a fall and or injury, you should arrange a meeting with the nurse in charge to discuss the accident and take measures to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  

 

  1. Pressure Ulcers. 

    Commonly known as bedsores or pressure sores, these occur when an immobile person is not moved frequently enough, resulting in lack of blood flow to a particular area and subsequent tissue damage.  

 

  1. Medication Errors. 

    With most residents in care homes requiring daily medications to deal with illnesses such as heart disease, dementia, Parkinson’s and diabetes, it’s essential that these medications are administered correctly and regularly. However, there are cases in which medications have been forgotten or even administered in incorrect dosages. These types of errors could be minimally damaging or life-threatening.  

 

What should I do if a family member experiences negligence? 

It’s very important that you pursue meetings with care home management if you discover your relative has had an accident. Often, if care homes believe they are at fault, they will try to avoid a meeting with you, so it’s essential to stay consistent.  

 

Below are some helpful questions to ask that may put you on the right path:  

 

  • Has my relative had a fall-risk assessment? If so, what were the results of that?  
  • Was my relative unsupervised when they fell?  
  • Was there a witness to the fall 
  • What equipment is in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again? 
  • Does my relative have a pre-existing condition that would make them more susceptible to bedsores?  
  • May I see my relative’s medication charts to see the drugs prescribed and the times administered? 

 

Having peace of mind about the safety and well-being of elderly relatives who live in care homes is essential. We recommend using the Care Inspectorate website so assess what care homes you may have available to you that are nearby as well as the quality of these care homes before you decide where to place your elderly relative.  

 

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 personal injury claim lawyers, no win no fee solicitors.