Tag Archives: Road Traffic Solicitors

What should I do if I’m involved in a Road Traffic Accident?

What should I do if I’m involved in a Road Traffic Accident?

Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) can happen as a result of a variety of reasons, including driver error, vehicle malfunction and lack of road maintenance.

With more vehicles now on the road than ever before, it’s vitally important that drivers are aware of what to do in the event of an RTA. So, we’ve compiled a handy document which will help if you should find yourself in an accident.

Road Traffic from an RTA

Stop. Switch off your engine and switch on your hazard lights to warn other motorists of the hazard, if the vehicles are causing one. In the event of a serious collision the emergency services should be called.

Exchange details. You are obliged to give your contact details and insurance details. Help your case by obtaining crucial details at the scene including details of:

  • Any witnesses;
  • Registration number of the other vehicle(s) involved;
  • Names and addresses of persons involved and their insurance details.

 

Take photos. Pictures are helpful and should be taken of the scene and the damage to all vehicles. In the age of the camera phone, this should be relatively easy. If you have footage of the accident, then even better.

Insurance. Contact your insurer as soon as you can after the accident, as some insurance policies might be invalidated should you fail to report the accident within the specified time-period detailed in the policy.

Afterwards, contact Newnham & Jordan Solicitors and we will be on hand to do the rest. Our specialist Personal Injury department will be on hand to assess your case, free of charge, and give you the advice to enable you to pursue and maximise your claim on a conditional no win, no fee basis.

Remember, you are not obliged to use the solicitor that your insurance company sends you to. You are free to use whichever solicitor you choose.

5 Top Tips For Summer Driving

Safe summer driving blog

5 top tips for summer driving

The summer holidays are nearly upon us. If you’re planning a road trip this summer, it’s very important to make sure that you and your car are prepared. So here are 5 top tips for safe summer driving.

Punctures

If your tyres are at the wrong pressure or even damaged, in the heat the risk of a blowout could be increased. It’s very important to check your tyres before any long journey. (Also remember to increase your tyre pressure for extra loads)

If you have a caravan you should also do the same. If any tyres on the caravan show signs of cracking in the side wall or in the tread groves, they should be replaced asap.

Glare

Dazzle from the sun can cause lots of accidents through the summer months. You can reduce the effect of glare by keeping your windscreen clear and by replacing worn or damaged windscreen wipers.

Hay fever

If you are a hay fever sufferer it’s always best to do the following:

  • Make sure any medication you’re taking doesn’t cause drowsiness
  • Close windows and air vents to reduce pollen grains in the car
  • Keep tissues close to hand
  • Clean mats and carpets regularly to get rid of dust

 

Fire

If you smoke, make sure you don’t just throw your cigarette out the window when you have finished. During the summer months’ verges and embankments can be come bone-dry and a smoldering cigarette may be enough to ignite road side grass.

Tractors

When driving through the country side it’s common to get stuck behind a tractor, this can be very annoying but it’s important to remember these points when stuck behind these slow moving vehicles:

  • Keep plenty of distance between you and the tractor
  • Remember that a tractor may be longer than it appears
  • When passing a tractor make sure you have plenty of room to get past

 

Click here to read more of our driving blogs.

5 Top Tips For Summer Driving
Are you fit to drive?

Are you fit to drive?

are you fit to drive main blog image

Driving requires a level of skill and the ability to interact with both the vehicle and the external environment. Rule 90, 91, 92, 93 and 94 of The Highway Code states the different factors that can affect a person’s ability to drive safely.

Safe driving requires some of the following:

  • vision
  • visuospatial perception
  • hearing
  • attention and concentration
  • memory
  • insight and understanding
  • judgement
  • adaptive strategies
  • good reaction time
  • planning and organisation
  • ability to self-monitor
  • sensation
  • muscle power and control
  • coordination

 

If a person develops a medical condition that could affect the safety of their driving, they should contact the DVLA as soon as possible. If a driver does not inform the DVLA, they could be fined up to £1,000. The DVLA have listed over 200 medical conditions for which people MAY need to notify them about.

The list below show some examples of conditions in which the DVLA should be informed about:

  • An epileptic event (seizure or fit).
  • Sudden attacks of disabling giddiness, fainting or blackouts.
  • Severe learning disability.
  • A pacemaker or implanted defibrillator device fitted.
  • Diabetes controlled by insulin or tablets that have a high risk of causing hypoglycaemia
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Any other chronic neurological condition.
  • Dementia or a serious problem with memory.
  • A major or minor cerebrovascular event (only if there is residual neurological or cognitive deficit one month after the event).
  • Multiple transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) over a short period but not single TIA.
  • Any type of brain surgery, brain tumour or severe head injury involving inpatient treatment at hospital.
  • Any severe psychiatric illness or mental disorder including acute psychosis, mania and severe depressive illness if there are features which affect risk to drive safely or suicidal thoughts.
  • Continuing/permanent difficulty in the use of arms or legs which affects your ability to control a vehicle.
  • Dependence on or misuse of alcohol, illicit drugs or chemical substances in the previous three years (do not include drink/driving offences).
  • Any visual disability which affects BOTH eyes (do not declare short/long sight or colour blindness).
  • Narcolepsy or other primary hypersomnia.

 

See GOV.UK Health Conditions and Driving for a full list of potentially notifiable conditions.

Rule 90

Make sure that you are fit to drive. You MUST report to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) any health condition likely to affect your driving.

Law RTA 1988 sect 94

Rule 91

Driving when you are tired greatly increases your risk of collision. To minimise this risk

  • make sure you are fit to drive. Do not begin a journey if you are tired. Get a good night’s sleep before embarking on a long journey
  • avoid undertaking long journeys between midnight and 6 am, when natural alertness is at a minimum
  • plan your journey to take sufficient breaks. A minimum break of at least 15 minutes after every two hours of driving is recommended
  • if you feel at all sleepy, stop in a safe place. Do not stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway
  • the most effective ways to counter sleepiness are to drink, for example, two cups of caffeinated coffee and to take a short nap (at least 15 minutes)

Rule 92

Vision. You MUST be able to read a vehicle number plate, in good daylight, from a distance of 20 metres (or 20.5 metres where the old style number plate is used). If you need to wear glasses (or contact lenses) to do this, you MUSTwear them at all times while driving. The police have the power to require a driver to undertake an eyesight test.

Laws RTA 1988 sect 96, & MV(DL)R reg 40 & sched 8

Rule 93

Slow down, and if necessary stop, if you are dazzled by bright sunlight.

Rule 94

At night or in poor visibility, do not use tinted glasses, lenses or visors if they restrict your vision.


This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham &  Jordan Solicitors cannot accept  responsibility for  any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in  respect of this  article or any external articles it may refer or link to.


 

What to do at the scene of an accident

Rule 283 main blog imagePhoto credit: jf01350 via Visualhunt / CC BY

Rule 283

If you are involved in a crash or stop to give assistance at the scene of an accident you should:

Warn others:

Park your vehicle and then turn your hazard lights on, ideally facing approaching traffic. Also if you have a warning triangle proceed to place this in the road.

If there are other people who can help send them back along the road to wave traffic in order to slow it down. Take care on fast moving roads … Other drivers might not understand what you are trying to do.

Reduce risks:

Check the scene, make sure all engines are turned off,  ensure nobody is smoking at the scene .

Get help:

Arrange for the emergency services to be called immediately with full details of the incident location and any casualties (on a motorway, use the emergency telephone which allows easy location by the emergency services. If you use a mobile phone, first make sure you have identified your location from the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder)

Assess injuries:

move uninjured people away from the vehicles to safety; on a motorway this should, if possible, be well away from the traffic, the hard shoulder and the central reservation

Simple first aid:

  • Don’t move casualties: As you could cause further injury, unless they are in immediate danger from fire or explosion
  • Do not remove a motorcyclist’s helmet unless it is essential to do so
  • Check for breathing: If the casualty is not breathing, clear the mouth (false teeth, chewing gum, sweets) very gently tilt the head back and, holding their nose, gently blow into them at five second intervals allowing the chest to exhale naturally. See the links below for detailed information and methods.
  • Stop bleeding: Firm pressure on a wound will stem bleeding.
  • Don’t give casualties anything to eat or drink: This can cause complications for medics and delay life saving treatment.

stay at the scene until emergency services arrive. If you are involved in any other medical emergency on the motorway you should contact the emergency services in the same way.

To read more about the Highway Code, click here.


This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham &  Jordan Solicitors cannot accept  responsibility for  any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in  respect of this  article or any external articles it may refer or link to.


 

What to do at the scene of an accident
Drink Driving at Christmas Time

Drink Driving at Christmas Time


It’s almost Christmas again.  And police forces up and down the country are already watching out vigilantly for motorists suspected of being over the legal limit.  The annual Government anti-drink driving campaign has been launched warning of the consequences of a second drink.

Drink Driving


And in North Yorkshire a story has emerged of a drunken driver who hit a metal barrier in Tadcaster and fled the scene.  Rather than be found wandering the streets or behind a locked door at home he was instead discovered by police officers in a shed hidden behind bales of hay and the figure of baby Jesus amongst a Nativity scene.  His subsequent arrest prompted the police to post the news on Twitter; “Driver runs from RTC in Tadcaster and tries to hide in nativity display.  Located and arrested”.

The publicity prompted by the police led to humorous comments from other social media users with “Obviously not one of the wise men” and “God arrest ye merry gentlemen” being typical.  Even a police officer got in on the act and posted this message “Gold star to my North Yorkshire Police colleagues as one ‘myrrh’ drink driver with no ‘(frankin)sense’ is taken off the road”.

The consequences of even one drink before driving are well known to just about everybody and, as a lawyer who does his best to pick up the pieces for clients who find themselves in the often nightmare position of facing a drink driving conviction, I urge anyone and everyone to be extremely cautious.  It is far better to not drink and drive or to drink and plan and keep to alternative non-driving arrangements so as to avoid the risk of that barman or random member of the public calling the police to say you’ve driven off while obviously under the influence.

Of course if the worst does happen and you are experiencing the shock from an arrest for drink (or indeed drug) driving it is strongly advised you seek legal advice as soon as possible.  It can make a significant difference and hearing from someone who understands the court process step by step is often very reassuring.


While Newnham & Jordan will be closed for Christmas in common with almost all law firms there is always the means to reach a lawyer at any time.  Just ring the out of hours number 0845 680 7871 or Email office@newnham-jordan.co.uk and you will receive a call back within no time at all.  Support is never more than a phone call away.


New smoking and driving law

As of the 1st of October 2015 smoking in a vehicle with anyone under the age of 18 will be illegal. The reason for this is to protect children and young people from the dangers that second hand smoke has.

If you are caught smoking in a vehicle while there is anyone under the age of 18 with you, you will be fined. This applies to every driver in England and wales. Even those aged 17 and those with a provisional drivers licence. However the law will not apply to 17 year olds who are on their own in a vehicle.

The department of health have a video that outlines everything you need to know about the new law:  [youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jB9zSTlvwY[/youtube]

 

When a child breathes second hand smoke, they are put at risk of thousands of chemicals in the smoke. This can cause serious conditions include pneumonia, meningitis, bronchitis and cancer.

The law applies to any private vehicles even if the windows or sunroof are open .However if you are driving a convertible with the roof down the law won’t apply.

Click here for more information

New smoking and driving law