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This week, Ramsdens are proud to be supporting Brake Charity throughout their Road Safety Week.

Despite The Road Traffic Act 1988 dealing with the requirement to take protective measures in the form of wearing seatbelts and helmets, and of course it being common sense to do so, it is surprising to find that accidents still occur where people have not taken such precautions.

One of the main safety issues in relation to road traffic accidents is failure to wear a seat-belt.

As can be seen from the above figures, in the five years from 2009 – 2014 it appears that awareness has risen.There is, however, still a percentage of drivers and passengers who are travelling without their seat-belt.Taking into account the millions of road users, 1.8% is not insignificant.

It would be interesting to see the results when the next survey is released.

If you are involved in a road traffic accident there is, of course, less chance of you receiving significant injury should you be restrained by a seat-belt. In relation to claiming damages for such injuries, there is an automatic deduction in relation to an occupant in a vehicle who is found to not be wearing their seat-belt, at a minimum of 25%, sometimes higher.

Taking into account the most significant of injuries where damages can amount to millions of pounds this is of course a significant deduction.

In cases where the injured party requires assistance following the accident in the form of rehabilitation, for example physiotherapy, assistance from carers, assistance and adaptations to their home to enable them to live independently, etc, this deduction can have a significant effect on affordability.

The claims process does not have a set deduction for failure to wear a helmet, in relation to speeding, talking on your mobile phone, driving under the influence, etc.. as is the case with failure to wear a seatbelt. However a deduction will be made in law by way of contributory negligence. Here it will be found that you had contributed to your injury by failing to take action to protect from harm.

It is therefore important to follow any safety advice given and wear any and all protective measures provided, most importantly for your own safety.

It is reassuring to note that according to the reports published by the Department for Transport, on the whole the number of accidents and significant injuries are reducing.

The latest full report published in October 2017 can be accessed here.

In summary, there was a 5% decrease in fatalities in the year ending June 2017 and a 5% drop in the overall number of casualties in road traffic accidents. There is still so much more to do to raise awareness.

As a firm experienced in dealing with the effects of such claims, from the most minor to most severe, our advice to you would be to always ensure that you take all appropriate and available safety measures.

To find out more about making a claim with Ramsdens Solicitors or to discuss the above issues covered, call us now on 0800 804 7450, text CLAIMS to 80988 or submit your claim online and our team will be able to offer expert advice and practical support – it’s free and you’ll be able to discuss your situation with a specialist claims solicitor.