By Jane Woodcock, Senior Legal Executive, Hudgell Solicitors
It may seem like one of the most natural things in the world, but getting behind the wheel of a vehicle always involves an element of risk.
As a driver, you are solely responsible for the car, van, truck, bike or any other mode of transport you’re controlling, and that therefore means you are responsible not only for the safety of those with you, but also for other road users too.
We all know accidents will always happen throughout the year, but as the winter closes in and the nights become darker, we will find ourselves facing tougher driving conditions, with visibility low and roads often wet, or even icy.
At Neil Hudgell Solicitors, as specialists in handling fatal accident claims, we see clearly how the number of road traffic accident cases involving drivers peaks between October and March, with most arising in January.
Over this six month period, the smallest lapse in concentration, such as taking your eyes off the road for a split second, can end in unthinkable results.
Speed is often the key factor, as drivers fail to adapt to the new conditions we face.
Recent events have again shown that even the very best drivers can become the victims of speed and poor conditions, as Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi crashed and sadly suffered a serious head injury on a wet course in the Japanese Grand Prix.
Similar accidents can happen as easily on our roads in day to day life, so it’s vital to keep a check on your driving as the weather deteriorates, and conditions worsen.
It’s also crucial to ensure your car is fit for purpose, and ready to face a different set of conditions over the months ahead.
According to official Highways Agency statistics, there were 11,000 tyre-related incidents on England’s motorways and major roads throughout the winter period last year, with most occurring between October and December.
In the many cases we handle, we see how families are left to pick up the pieces after fatal accidents. They are traumatic and highly emotional times for all involved as they struggle to come to terms with their loss, while also being faced with the financial implications too.
That is why we always put our clients’ needs at the heart of our work, handling all cases with the sensitivity and understanding required, whilst providing the best legal representation.
As stated at the start of this article, there is always a risk when you sit behind a wheel of a car, and accidents will always happen.
Taking simple steps and making minor alterations to the way you drive over the coming months though, could be the difference between life and death.