Staying safe on the road: how to prevent car accidents this summer

Tue 14th Aug 2018

On Injury Prevention Day, Catherine Hyde of the Personal Injury team at Coodes Solicitors explains some of the ways you can help prevent car accidents and injury in Cornwall this summer.

The roads are often at their busiest in the summer. Cornwall is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, with this year being exceptionally busy, and as more people head to the seaside towns and sandy beaches, we see a huge increase in traffic. In 2016/17 there were 1,203 injury road traffic collisions in Cornwall, 22 of which resulted in at least one fatality and 277 people were seriously injured.

Injury Prevention Day aims to help reduce the number of needless and avoidable injuries by educating people on the simple steps they can take to reduce the risk of injury.

Plan your journey

One of the easiest ways to avoid accidents on the road is to plan your journey ahead of time. It’s a good idea to be aware of any road works or construction that may be happening along your journey. This means you’re aware of the possibility of slower movement on the roads and gives you the opportunity to look for any alternative routes.

Keep alert of other vehicles

Over the summer, there could be a bigger variety of different vehicles on the roads. Holiday makers could be towing caravans and during harvesting season, drivers may also encounter slow-moving tractors and other agricultural vehicles. There will be an increase in the number of motorbikes and possibly cyclists on smaller roads. It’s important to slow down and give them as much room as possible, especially on narrow lanes.

Be patient

No one likes long journeys or sitting for hours in traffic but impatience can cause drivers to take risks that can lead to accidents. The greater number of cars on the roads is likely lead to slower moving traffic and an increase in journey times. Don’t rush around and take chances just to try and save time. Careless driving as the result of being in a hurry is one of the main causes of car collisions.

Locals should also keep in mind that a lot of tourists might not know the roads, so be aware and considerate that they might take a wrong turn or two. Leaving earlier and allowing extra time will allow you to relax while driving and not worry about arriving late.

Check your car before journeys

It’s essential that your vehicle is properly maintained for every journey. Breakdowns will increase the amount of traffic and congestion and could be a hazard for other road users. The AA has some great tips on regular checks you should carry out on your car, including keep an eye on fuel, lights and water.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has launched a campaign to encourage people to check their headrest to ensure it gives them sufficient protection against injuries. Whiplash is the most common car crash injury and occurs following an estimated half of all road accidents. Checking that your headrest is in the correct position will reduce the risk of whiplash.

How to check your headrest

To check whether your headrest is in the correct position you must make sure it’s as close to your head as possible, ideally touching, and is as high as the top of your head. It’s important all passengers test theirs too.

If you’re unfortunate enough to sustain injury whilst driving, contact the Personal Injury team at Coodes Solicitors for specialist advice on 01326 318900 or

Tue 14th Aug 2018

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