Every year drivers who speed or travel too fast for the conditions contribute to 10,093 crashes, 3,388 serious injuries and 345 deaths. The faster a vehicle is travelling, the longer it takes to stop, and the greater the risk of an accident.
Speed and stopping distances don’t increase at the same rate, a crash at 30mph has twice as much energy and injury potential as a vehicle travelling at 20mph. The higher the vehicle's speed, the more likely that a serious injury or even death will occur.
Some of the most common injuries sustained from road traffic accidents include:
- Whiplash: often resulting from rear-end collisions, this is a type of neck injury caused by a sudden jerking movement of the head
- Broken bones: from simple fractures to compound breaks
- Head injuries: these can range from concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries: accidents can lead to partial or complete paralysis
- Cuts and bruises: these might seem minor but can lead to complications if not treated promptly
- Internal injuries: accidents can cause internal injuries to the kidney, liver, spleen, bowels, lungs and heart. Other injuries can include fractured ribs which can puncture other organs
- Psychological injuries: beyond the physical, the emotional toll of an accident shouldn't be underestimated. You may experience travel anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a serious accident. This can affect your ability to drive, as well as cause you distress elsewhere in your life.
Katrina Elsey , personal injury expert comments: “I see in my day-to-day role the devastating impact that road traffic accidents can have on individuals and their families. The impact of being hit by a vehicle being driven at speed can be lifechanging.
"I have recently acted for a client who was driving along when another vehicle overtook a car on the opposite side of the road, at speed. The driver collided head on with my client’s vehicle, leaving them unable to work for months and with effects from PTSD. The physical injuries can turn someone’s life upside down, but the stress of the accident can also have a profound effect on the family.
"Road Safety Week gives us the opportunity to reflect and acts as a reminder to road users that driving too fast can have overwhelming and lifechanging consequences.”
Find out more about road traffic accident claims here