What Are the Main Causes of Motorway Accidents?

Motorway accidents are, sadly, a common occurrence in the United Kingdom. But what are the main causes of motorway accidents? Here’s the top five:

1.      Mobile phones
In October 2016, a lorry driver was jailed for 10 years for causing a fatal crash on the A34 whilst using his mobile phone at the wheel. That story made national news, but every day, hundreds of motorists witness dodgy driving from people who are distracted by their mobile phones. It has become such an issue, that the minimum punishment for using a mobile phone at the wheel now carries 6 points, and a £200 fine. 

2.      Weather conditions
Standing water can cause a motorway accident, and so too can gusty conditions and bright sunlight. Lorries are particularly susceptible to windy conditions, while car drivers are most susceptible to aquaplaning and being affected by sunlight. Unfortunately, the drainage systems on motorways are not sufficient for heavy rain, and many drivers do not keep a pair of sunglasses in their car. Snow and ice are also serious hazards on the motorway. 

3.      Tiredness
Tiredness can kill. And, even if drivers do not fall asleep at the wheel, they still post a danger since they are not completely alert. Even the shortest lapse in judgement can cause a fatal accident on the motorway, or send a vehicle out of control. If you feel tired whilst driving, then you should pull into a service station or leave the motorway and pull over where it is safe to do so, and get some sleep. You should never stop on the hard shoulder, unless you have an emergency. And, if you do stop on the hard shoulder, you must use one of the SOS phones to alert the Highways Agency that you are blocking the lane. 

4.      Poorly maintained vehicles
All vehicles on the road should have tires with good tread, strong brakes and working headlights and fog lights to be legal. Operating a motor vehicle without an MOT, or a vehicle without good tyres, working lights or dodgy brakes, is a prosecutable offence, not to mention a very dangerous thing to do. If you are unsure about the health of your car, then you should have it checked over by a DVSA registered garage.

5.      Reckless driving
Everybody will have witnessed reckless driver before, whether that includes another motorist overtaking on the hard shoulder, or a lorry driver cutting across lanes. It is estimated that reckless drivers account for 40 per cent of all accidents on our roads, so it does pay to stay alert and not take risks. And, if you do spot a reckless driver, you should avoid them at all costs and report them to the police if you believe that they are a danger.
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