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11 Causes of Road Traffic Accidents

30th September 2014

Road traffic accidents can lead to tragic consequences, hence we continue to do all we can to make people aware of the dangers of the road. Whilst we may never be able to keep our roads entirely safe, we can always do our utmost to ensure we know exactly what it is that causes road traffic accidents so that we can think fast and potentially avoid any painful and traumatic experiences in the future. The following list gives you an idea of some of the most common causes of road traffic accidents in the UK:

11. Sudden Braking

Sudden braking can happen if the driver behind fails to stop or is unaware of a car slowing down in front. If there is a crash, both drivers may suffer from whiplash. If the car behind is forced to brake too suddenly, the driver may suffer from whiplash whether he hits the car in front or not.

10. Learners/ Inexperienced Drivers

Many driving instructors will tell their students that once their driving test is complete, the real process of learning begins. This is because inexperienced drivers are often restricted to the same roads during each lesson and are always accompanied by an experienced driver. Nevertheless, a lack of road safety knowledge can lead to a road traffic accident, so always be careful during the first few years of driving!

9. Tailgating

Driving too close to another driver, especially on a motorway, can be extremely dangerous. If the car in front is forced to stop suddenly, you have a much shorter breaking distance and are more than likely to crash into the back of the car in front. Tailgating is a deadly habit, so make sure you keep a safe distance between you and the car in front.

8. Ignoring Road Conditions

This is a very common cause of road traffic accidents, with many people not realising just how dangerous a road can be after a period of heavy rain or on extremely cold nights. Many tyres are designed to provide improved grip, yet there is little any tyre can do stop you from skidding on black ice. Keeping to a speed limit that is slightly below the provided limit is always recommended.

7. Wet Weather Conditions

Most people are advised not to drive during rainy weather conditions, as the roads become wet and the grip of the tyres begins to become a lot less reliable. This is especially the case at roundabouts or on winding roads where extreme turning is required.

6. Losing Control

A lack of awareness, a distraction or a problem with your car can lead to you losing control on the road. This is why it is very important that you always take due care and attention when driving. Losing control on the road can put you and fellow drivers at risk of injury.

5. Bad Manoeuvre

Manoeuvres are often dreaded by some as they require essential driving skills that need to be mastered. However, anyone can accidentally perform a bad manoeuvre. Unfortunately, bad manoeuvres put cyclists and pedestrians at risk as well as fellow drivers, so you should always conduct a manoeuvre as you were taught during your driving lessons.

4. Speeding

The thrill of driving at high speeds is too much of an attraction for some but speeding is one of the leading causes of death on the road. It is much easier to lose control of your vehicle when speeding, whilst you give yourself far less time to react to a hazard when travelling too fast. It is essential that you follow speed limits to keep you and everyone around you safe from harm.

3. Failing to Judge Speed

This is more associated with judging the speed of fellow drivers rather than your own. If you notice a driver up ahead is travelling at speed, it’s important to be aware of this whether they are breaking the law or not. Many people fail to judge the speed of an oncoming car even when they are abiding by speed limits, so it all comes down to your awareness on the road.

2. Driver Failing to Look Properly

If the driver does not take notice of what’s around them before carrying out a manoeuvre or changing speed, they can put pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists in extreme danger. Motorcyclists are often killed by drivers who fail to notice them, whilst many pedestrians are also killed as a result of a lack of awareness.

1. Distractions

Drivers who are on the phone or engaged in text messaging when driving are breaking the law. Driving without due care and attention is a crime and will be pulled up by police if noticed.  This serious lack of awareness can cost people their lives, so it’s vital that you always have your eyes on the road when driving to save yourself and others from catastrophic consequences.


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