Can I make a claim if my accident was caused by a poor driving surface?

There’s no getting away from the fact that driving in the UK is probably safer today than it’s ever been. Advances in vehicle technology and the development of safety features such as crumple zones, anti-lock braking and airbags mean that the chances of surviving a collision unscathed have been greatly improved. On top of this there is the fact that the likelihood of being involved in an accident in the first place has been reduced by higher overall standards of driver education, huge strides forward on matters such as drinking and driving and better design of such things as junctions and street lighting.

Official government statistics state that in the year 2000, 3,409 people were killed on the roads whilst another 317,000 were injured. By the year 2010, these numbers had been reduced to 1,857 and 206,798 respectively.

Clearly, things are getting better but the shocking truth is that in the year 2011, slightly more than five people per day were killed on our roads. It’s tempting to concentrate on your own driving ability and see that as the determining factor in whether you’re going to be involved in a car accident, but the truth is that you can’t legislate for the neglect of other parties, and it’s when you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else that you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

In most cases, the other party will be the driver of another vehicle or perhaps a pedestrian. Occasionally, however, a crash may be caused by the fact that a poor or badly maintained road surface causes you to lose control of your vehicle. This might mean poorly maintained tarmac, an oil spillage which hasn’t been cleared up or something like a large pot hole affecting your steering. In cases such as this, the people responsible for the upkeep of the road have behaved in a negligent manner, and it’s this negligence which has directly resulted in your injury. Put simply, you should reasonably be able to expect that a road will be safe to use, and if it wasn’t then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the likes of a local authority.

 

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