Road accidents spike – the downside to our post-lockdown roads
Road accidents are the leading cause of serious injury in the UK, and, while the COVID-19 pandemic inevitably led to decline in the number of incidents, we are now facing the reality that our roads are becoming more busy and more dangerous than ever.
So, why were there fewer road accidents during lockdown? Put simply, being trapped indoors meant we took less trips out. There were less new car sales, and less new drivers on the roads, too. Motorists benefitted, with an average fall of £38 in insurance premiums in the first half of 2021 (the lowest in 5 years) exemplifying this shift.
However, as we transition back to normality, these figures will look increasingly skewed given the drastic effects of the pandemic. A variety of changes to our roads suggest an increase in road accidents is unfortunately a solid prediction. These include:
- Ridesharing – the rising use of services such as Uber, Ola and Bolt has contributed to what’s known as ‘deadheading’. This is where vehicles are in non-revenue mode, i.e. cruising the roads to find new customers and driving between fares. A recent study in the US attributed a rise in road accidents to this cultural shift, as this extra travel increases the amount of time drivers spend on our roads, resulting in more incidents.
- Public expenditure – the UK Government has recently halted plans for a £27b investment into our roads which has been attributed to COVID-related cuts and the desire to boost their eco-credentials. This could mean road repairs will not be acted upon, and new roads to reduce traffic will not be built, leading to a higher density of motorists making our roads less safe.
- New types of transport – different ways to navigate our roads are becoming more popular, such as e-scooters. These create an added accident threat given users’ tendency to switch between road and pavement use, and the rise of privately-owned, illegal e-scooters.
- Public transport – with many people still wary of catching COVID-19, the use of public transport has dwindled as people prefer to travel alone. This means more cars are using our roads, raising the chances of an accident occurring.
- Speeding – some reports are suggesting that drivers are still taking advantage of emptier roads and speeding, meaning the chances and severity of road accidents could grow.
- Fuel crisis – although hopefully a one-off event, the recent ‘petrol panic’ meant there was a surge in road traffic, which can easily lead to more accidents.
These developments mean a spike in road accidents is inevitable. And this is where Slee Blackwell Solicitors can help. If you have been involved in a road accident, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
We work on a No Win, No Fee basis, meaning there is no need to worry about funding your legal costs.
Compensation can be awarded for both physical and psychological injuries, as well as any financial losses you incur (e.g. lost earnings, cost of medical treatment). You can read here about how we recovered compensation totalling almost £100,000 for a client of ours who was recently injured in a road accident.
The process of claiming compensation is simple and stress-free. If you would like a free case assessment, you can call our legal helpline for an initial chat, or if you prefer, we take email submissions also where we will get in touch with our recommendations.
Tel: 0333 888 0404
Email: [email protected]