Road traffic accident claims

A guide to insurance and road traffic accident claims

Driver distractions and behaviours are some of the most dangerous threats to our roads. We are asking the public to question their own habits and the stereotypes they hold of drivers.

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What are our research found

At Slater and Gordon, we support victims of catastrophic road traffic accidents on a daily basis, and we have witnessed the devastation they can cause to victims and their families. In 2022, there were a total of 26,956 reported road traffic accidents, with 1,666 causing fatalities. This shocking data shows us that more preventative measures need to be in place to reduce the number of accidents on our roads. One thing everyone can do to help with this is to make more of an effort to consider our own behaviours whilst on the road.

Many road users will have opinions on who they believe pose the most danger on the road, but at Slater and Gordon, we are imploring that the public question their own driving habits. Our Get Home Safe campaign focuses on the public questioning how they act on the road and whether they could improve their driving practices. This will help people realise the impact their own behaviour can have on innocent road users before it is too late. We all have a role to play in making sure everyone gets home safe.

What are the most common causes of road traffic accidents?

Many individuals hold stereotypes about which people are most likely to cause an accident on the road. Whether it be the elderly, newly passed drivers, or cyclists, it doesn’t matter who you are as the prevailing issue leading to most road accidents is, in fact, driver distractions, which anyone is susceptible to.

Any lapse in judgement, concentration, or not keeping up to date with rules of the road can cause road accidents and injure thousands of innocent victims every year. Driver errors, which include sudden braking and failing to look, are also twice as likely to cause fatalities on the road than injudicious action, including exceeding the speed limit.

We wanted to investigate further to understand the behaviours of drivers on our roads and our research found that after road conditions, failing to look at the road properly and being distracted by something else were the cause of most road traffic accidents. The full list of causes of road traffic accidents, from the most common cause to the least, is:

  • Road conditions
  • Driver distractions
  • Failure to look properly
  • Failure to correctly judge other vehicle speed
  • Driving whilst tired
  • Distracted by another passenger
  • Speeding
  • Use of mobile phone
  • Driving recklessly

Our research found that accidents happen across age groups and genders, which is why it is important to for all drivers to take accountability of their actions on the road.

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Tracey's story

Tracey was returning home from a cycle and when she was only 10 minutes from her house, a car collided with her, causing multiple injuries, including a fractured spine, broken pelvis, and a smashed elbow. She was in a coma for a week and had to spend six weeks in hospital. Here's how we were able to help her.

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How can you improve your driving?

To ensure safer journeys for everyone on the road, it is important for drivers to continually work on improving their driving skills and knowledge.

Ways to do this includes:

  • Newly passed drivers can enrol in a Pass Plus driving course. This practical driving course takes drivers on dual carriageways, motorways, in rural settings and even at night to improve skills. You can watch our latest video where our Police Relationship Manager, Ray Williams took a client who recently passed their driving test out on a Pass Plus lesson, here.
  • Keep up with the latest traffic laws and regulations. Understanding and adhering to the rules of the road is a fundamental step toward road safety. Those include changes to the highway code that took place in 2021.
  • Learn about your car's safety features. Some drivers are unaware of their car’s safety features or how to effectively use them. However, knowing what features your car has and how they work can help to avoid a road traffic accident.
  • Always drive to the speed limit. In 2022, there were over 5000 road accidents attributed to speeding, with 1990 being fatal. ‘Let’s talk about speed’ is road safety charity Brake’s 2023 theme for this year’s Road Safety Week as reducing speed will help save lives.

What should you do if you are involved in a road traffic accident?

Whether you are driving a car, a passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist, being involved in a road traffic accident can be extremely stressful and frightening. Having a clear understanding on what do in the event of an accident is important to ensure your safety, and the safety of others.

Knowing the steps to take can also strengthen any insurance or legal claim you may need to make.

When you are involved in a road traffic accident, these are the steps to follow:

  • Stop the car as soon as possible, switch off the engine and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Check on everyone involved; check for any injuries to yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved and contact emergency services if urgent medical care is required.
  • Call the police if roads are blocked. If immediate help isn’t required, call 101 to report the incident.
  • Exchange details with drivers and other road users involved without admitting fault, including full name, address, and registration details.
  • If possible, and it is safe to do so, take photos of the incident, damages, injuries, and your surroundings.
  • Identify any witnesses of the accident and get their contact details.
  • If your injuries are not serious, visit your GP when you are next able to, and report any injuries and symptoms. This will ensure these are on record if you were to make a claim.
  • Contact your insurance company to make them aware of what has happened.
  • Note all your expenditures and keep receipts. These costs may be reimbursed as part of a personal injury claim.
  • Contact a road traffic accident specialist for legal advice.

How can Slater and Gordon support those injured in a road traffic accident?

When dealing with the aftermath of a road traffic accident, having a trusted and experienced personal injury solicitor who specialises in these types of claims is crucial. Our highly ranked lawyers are accredited by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers), SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority), and The Law Society's Lexcel program, demonstrating their dedication to achieving the best outcome for their clients.

At Slater and Gordon, we prioritise rehabilitation and partner with medical experts for comprehensive injury assessment and future care planning. This collaborative approach enhances our ability to secure fair compensation and with many cases, we can secure interim payments to ensure you get the best care from the very beginning.

We recognise every road traffic accident claim is unique, with its own set of circumstances and challenges, so we offer No Win No Fee funding. This means that if your case is unsuccessful, you won't have to worry about any legal fees. We are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to exceptional legal services.

Additionally, we work with leading charities supporting road traffic accident victims, including Brake, Road Peace, Aftermath, and more, ensuring ongoing assistance for you and your family. With a no win no fee approach and interim payments, your long-term recovery remains our primary focus.

If you would like to discuss a road traffic accident claim, get in touch, online or call us on 0330 041 5869

Discuss switching your case with our experts

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose Slater and Gordon?


We are an award winning law firm and have a dedicated team of road traffic accident solicitors to advise and guide you – no matter how complex your situation may be.

Affordability and advice

We're able to offer affordable expert legal advice and can provide guidance on all aspects of road traffic accident claims. Our Initial Consultation provides tailored advice on your situation giving you clear guidance and options regarding next steps.

Tailored advice

We understand that every claim is different – so we are able to provide tailored advice and guidance to suit your individual needs.

Local access

We are a national law firm, with legal experts available locally across the UK. Meetings can be arranged via telephone or video call, to suit your requirements.

Speak to one of our road traffic accident solicitors today

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869
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