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September 11th 2014

Serious Injury

Surgeons and doctors likely to cause road accidents due to stress and tiredness

Jane Woodcock

Jane Woodcock

Head of Personal Injury

Surgeons and doctors likely to cause road accidents due to stress and tiredness

By Jane Woodcock, Senior Legal Executive, Neil Hudgell Solicitors

By Jane Woodcock, Senior Legal Executive, Neil Hudgell Solicitors

INTERESTING research has linked ‘stressful occupations’ with dangerous driving – with a new survey suggesting surgeons and doctors are more often at fault for accidents on the UK’s roads than those working in other, less demanding jobs.

Analysis compiled by found nine of the 10 occupations that cause the most accidents on the road to be medical workers.

For every 1,000 surgeons who drive a car, a total of 361 made an at fault claim over the past five years. In second place were GPs, who made 333 at-fault claims, the survey claims.

Other occupations connected to healthcare profession in the top ten include nurses, hospital consultants and dental surgeons.

At the other end of the scale, building society clerks made just four claims in every 1,000 since 2009, whilst funfair employees, typists and car wash attendants were also rarely to blame for prangs on the roads.

“There is no doubt that surgeons, GPs and health visitors are all stressful jobs, so lack of time or tiredness could mean that these drivers are more likely to make an at fault claim,”  concluded car insurance expert Kevin Pratt.

There can be no doubt, tiredness and a lack of concentration when at the wheel of a car often proves fatal, and when anybody sits behind a wheel, they carry the responsibility of ensuring they are in a fit condition to drive safely.

Given our expertise at Neil Hudgell Solicitors in handling both personal injury and car accident claims on behalf of clients, this report highlights two areas of concern. If medical staff are unable to focus and concentrate well on the road, what impact the stress and tiredness of their job having on their work?

We see many cases where serious injuries are caused, even fatalities, by poor driving on the roads. In the vast majority, a split second involving a lack of concentration can lead to life-changing injuries and situations, often not just for one victim, but for many.

Although the link between demanding jobs and dangerous driving made by those behind this research is somewhat subjective, it does pose the question of what makes a driver a fault when an accident occurs.

Is it their actions right at the moment of the accident itself, or should their movements in the 24 hours previous come into play and be considered in serious cases to explore whether in fact they were in a suitable condition to drive?

Most of all, it underlines and emphasises that need for each and every driver to act responsibly and ensure they are fully focussed when behind the wheel.

A serious injury, or even the death of somebody which could have been prevented simply with due care and responsibility, is something nobody wants on their conscience. We see too many cases where many people wish they could turn back the clock.

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