Road Safety Week: Making a road traffic accident claim when not wearing a seatbelt
Posted on 19th November 2021
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With annual Road Safety Week well underway comes a stark reminder of the importance of road safety, and how one accident or mistake can have catastrophic impact on other road users and their families. In 2021, there are now almost 40 million vehicles on the roads in the UK. This number is bigger than ever, and shows just how important it is to keep ourselves and others safe when out and about in our cars and motorcycles.
Road Safety Week: How To Stay Safe On The Roads:
With so many people now on the roads, it is not surprising that road traffic accidents are on the rise. According to confused.com, there was a 26% decrease in road traffic accidents in the covid-19 pandemic, but this is a statistic that is quickly returning to normal. As part of this road safety week, our road traffic accident solicitors have put together a helpful guide to staying safe on the roads and preventing road traffic accidents:
1. Don’t drive while distracted- It is no secret that driving while distracted by anything is dangerous, and the most common culprit for this are mobile phones. Research shows that you are 4 times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone, and that your reaction times are actually 2 times slower if you text and drive than if you drink and drive, and this increases to 3 times if you use a handheld phone. This shows just how dangerous it can be to drive while distracted by a mobile phone, and how much it can impact your decision
making. If you are caught to be using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence, and a fine of £200.
2. Keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you- While it is very easy to get close to the vehicle in front of you while driving, especially in busy conditions or in traffic, this is never a good idea. You should always keep at least a two second gap between you and the vehicle in front. Our road traffic accident solicitors know all too well that if you have to brake suddenly, and you have not left enough room, you could potentially run into the back of them, or cause the driver behind you to shunt your vehicle from behind, potentially leading to injuries. The fact that our no win no fee solicitors have settled thousands of rear end shunt type crashes, in the last 10 years, is testament to this.
3. Never drink and drive- On average, 666 people have been killed in drink driving-related accidents in Great Britain each year, and 3,551 people are seriously injured. While these figures have been gradually decreasing year on year since records began, government data has revealed an increase in the number of estimated road deaths caused by drink driving in 2019. Our road traffic accident solicitors regularly see the devastation that can be caused by drink driving, and work with clients who have suffered from life-changing injuries or lost loved ones as a result of drink driving. See our full page dedicated to drink driving here.
4. Belt up- Research has shown that you are twice as likely to lose your life in a road traffic accident if you are not wearing a seatbelt during the journey. There are penalties in place for not wearing a seatbelt, and drivers caught without a seat belt face on-the-spot fines of £100. If prosecuted, the maximum fine is £500. Read on to learn more from our road traffic accident solicitors about wearing a seatbelt, and how it can impact liability in a road traffic accident claim.
MG Legal, Nationwide Road Traffic Accident Solicitors. The team that put you first. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation: 01772 783314 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Law on Wearing a Seatbelt?
In the UK, everybody travelling in a vehicle with a seatbelt provided is legally required to wear a seatbelt. For those under the age of 14, it is up to the driver of the vehicle to ensure that they are wearing their seatbelt, and for everybody else it is a personal responsibility.
On top of this, it is a legal requirement for children under the height of 1.35 metres tall to use a baby seat, child seat, booster seat or booster cushion that is suitable for their size; which again is the legal responsibility of the driver to ensure.
The only exceptions to the law on wearing a seatbelt, are if:
You are travelling on a bus that does not have seatbelts fitted
You are medically exempt
You are making deliveries or collections in a goods vehicle less than 50 metres away (this is often within a warehouse or workplace)
Can I make a road traffic accident claim if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt?
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, and were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, you might be left wondering if you can still make a road traffic accident claim for financial compensation or your injuries. The answer to this question is yes- you can still make a road traffic accident claim if you were not wearing a seatbelt. Not wearing a seatbelt will potentially affect your claim for personal injury compensation, but it does not mean you cannot make a claim.
Essentially, unless you are entitled to an exemption from wearing a seatbelt, whether medically or through the job you are doing, it is likely you will have a deduction from your personal injury settlement, and overall financial compensation, for contributory negligence. However, as this deduction is generally between 10%-25%, it is still very much worthwhile making a claim if you are injured.
How does contributory negligence work in a road traffic accident claim?
Contributory negligence essentially means that the accident that you were injured in was partly your fault. When you make a road traffic accident claim under contributory negligence, the total value of your injuries and losses would be assessed in the same way as any other claim, and then a percentage would be deducted to account for your apportionment of blame or fault that you had in your injuries by not wearing a seatbelt.
The law relating to contributory negligence, and how it will affect a road traffic accident claim, is not fixed. Still, the below suggests how your claim could be affected by you not wearing a seatbelt:
If your injuries would have been avoided by wearing a seatbelt, your compensation could be reduced by up to 25%.
If your injuries would have been less serious if you were wearing a seatbelt, then your compensation can be reduced by 15%.
If your injuries would have been exactly the same if you were wearing a seatbelt, then your compensation will not be affected.
Contact MG Legal’s no win no fee road traffic accident solicitors for more information:
If you have had a road traffic accident, and would like to know more about contributory negligence or split liability, or speak to a no win no fee road traffic accident solicitor about your potential claim, simply contact us online here for a free no-obligation consultation with a qualified road traffic accident solicitor.
Our road traffic accident solicitors work with clients just like you every day, and help them to win the financial compensation that they deserve. We have a success rate of over 99% in all of the claims that we take on, and accept all claims on a no win no fee basis, allowing our clients to work with us at no financial risk.
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