Continued Danger For Road Users Despite Improving Weather

Expert Issues Safety Warning

09.03.2011

Drivers have been warned that lives will continue to be devastated by road accidents if they grow complacent whilst driving as the weather improves, an expert injury lawyer has warned.

Scotland saw scores of accidents and injuries as a result of the snowy and icy weather this winter – including five individuals who lost their lives in the space of just 24 hours in January.

Elaine Russell, personal injury specialist for national law firm Irwin Mitchell, says the approach of spring is no excuse for careless driving – lighter evenings and drier roads can still be dangerous if people drive at inappropriate speeds.

Russell has seen many cases where individuals’ lives have been devastated by needless collisions on the road and is concerned by the rising numbers of accidents.

She said: “We are all used to hearing statistics about how road traffic accidents rise during the winter, particularly over the last two years. However what numbers don’t convey are the life-changing effects even a small accident can have on individuals and families.

“The tragic case of 17-year-old schoolgirl Natasha Paton from Lanark, who died in icy conditions earlier this year when her school bus crashed a mere 12 miles into its journey, is just one example of how a simple trip can turn into a devastating accident during the winter months.

“Many of my own clients have suffered debilitating injuries, or even the death of a loved one, caused by accidents on the roads, many of which could have been avoided if all road users took the time to consider the risks before heading out.

“I encourage everyone to weigh up the importance of their journey before heading out in the predicted coming bad weather, for their own and others’ safety.”

Russell backed a Road Safety Scotland Campaign to encourage rural motorists to slow down – the organisation claims excessive speed causes 72 per cent of incidents involving serious injury or death.