Hints & Tips

Road Accidents: How to Prevent Them and Deal with Them

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Nobody is ever ready for a car crash. But although some accidents are unavoidable and their consequences totally out of our control…

we can still make sure we are in the best possible position if things take a turn for the worse.

Wearing a seatbelt and not exceeding speed limits are at the core of road safety. The former diktat is surely correct, with seatbelts reducing car-related injuries and deaths by about half.

But for as much as speeding is one of the main causes of car accidents, it only comes second among fatal causes and accounts for 31 percent of fatal car accidents.

So that leaves us with more than two-thirds of car crashes completely unrelated to speeding, but rather classified as “driver error or reaction” by the police.

Apart from staying focused, the only way to avoid this kind of accident is by always keeping the right safety distance, which needs to be of at least 3 seconds between you and the car in front on a sunny day, and up to 10 seconds in poor weather conditions.

If these are all elements that you can control directly behind the wheel, it shouldn’t be forgotten that different vehicles react differently to crashes and not all of them guarantee the same levels of safety.

So when buying a car, whether new or used, you should check its safety rating and think whether you are ready to put your life in the hands of that specific model.

To see how a specific model fares against the competition in terms of safety, Euro NCAP is the go-to reference with ratings going from 1 to 5 stars for the most popular models on the market.

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Yet even if you are the most prudent driver with the safest make and model available, you’ll never be 100% sure to avoid all sorts of accidents.

Minor accidents leave you in the position where you are able to walk out of the car and take the details of the other persons involved in the crash, as well as to give yours (you’re obliged by law), call the police and an ambulance in case anyone has been injured.

Respective insurance companies will take care of things following that day, so you’re usually in safe hands once all details of the accident are on paper and you have taken some photos to go with them.

However not all car crashes result in an amicable agreement between the drivers, the worst case scenario being the other driver heading away without giving you his/her details and only the police being able to help you.

A seemingly simple crash can also turn result in some unnecessary suffering and expenses further down the line: it’s quite commons for people involved to underestimate the health consequences of the crash and avoid getting in touch with their insurance company.

Over the last few years a number of companies have started meeting the demand for compensation at a later stage, allowing you to file a road injury claim up to 3 years after the crash.

Such services can turn out to be a game changer if your body suffered from a delayed reaction to whiplash or concussion.

You should be careful though when claiming compensation: not only it is illegal to submit a bogus claim, but these also bring up the costs of average insurance premiums for all customers.

So only file a road injury claim if this is genuine and a direct consequence of health problems rather than a way to earn some extra money.