THINK: The Most Effective Road Safety Adverts

Even though the number of deaths and accidents from road related accidents has dropped in the last fifty years, they still remain higher than they should be. Therefore it’s not surprising that the government are continuing to push the boundaries when it comes to putting hard hitting and effective road awareness adverts on the TV.

For the fourth and final part of our THINK series, we are going to take a closer look at these safety adverts and PSAs and discuss why they are so effective. Continue reading

THINK: How to Drive Safely With Cyclists on The Road

THINK is a brilliant website that provides road safety information for all those who use the road – whether as a motorist or a cyclist. It aims to inform people on how to behave appropriately on the road in the hope that this will encourage them to do so when out and about. THINK’s main aim is to reduce the amount of accidents and deaths that take place on our roads every single day. Continue reading

What Happens to Your Hit and Run Claim?

We’ve already looked at the steps that should be taken if you find yourself the victim of a hit and run, and how to identify a hit and run from other types of car accidents, but after you make your claim and seek hit and run compensation, you might be wondering what happens next. Where does the claim go, who deals with it, and how can the whole process be sped up and made simpler? Continue reading

Accidents Happen – But How Often?

We’ve all heard someone utter that fateful phrase, ‘Accidents happen’, usually after someone’s spilt a cup of coffee, or tripped over their own ankles. Here at AYB Law, we don’t just deal with MIB claims and hit and run compensation – we’re also specialists in accident at work claims.

Having an accident at work can mean, at best, a sore knee or a bruised lip. At worst, though, it can severely impact on a person’s career and their health. In fact, a serious accident has the potential to ruin someone’s life, often through no fault of their own.

 

So, as solicitors who understand just how debilitating having an accident at work can be, we thought we’d take a look at the facts and statistics surrounding such occurrences.

 

Legal Obligation

All employers have a legal obligation to carry out proper risk assessments for the workplace as a whole. They’re responsible for ensuring that any potential hazards are dealt with, such as loose flooring tiles or wires that might cause unnecessary slips and trips. Giving employees proper health and safety training so they can carry out their roles safely, is also a factor, as well as providing adequate protective clothing for the job. It also means employers ensure that there are enough first-aiders who are properly trained.

 

Of course, it’s not solely down to employers. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), employees also have ‘a duty to take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by [the employee’s] actions at work.’ So all that training your employer has given you must be adhered to, and reporting any injuries, or any concerns you have regarding risks to health and safety.

 

Facts and Stats

So with laws and regulations in place, just how many accidents in the workplace occur each year? Well, the HSE’s latest figures are from 2013-2014, and give us a fair overview of everything from slips and trips, to handling accidents.

 

How many accidents, in total, do you suppose there was at work during that time-frame? 6? 6,000? Try 629,000. Yep, 629,000 employees reported having an accident at work, with 148,000 of those leading to more than a week’s absence from work. Even with all those laws in place, that’s still a stunningly high number. And saying ‘accidents happen’ to those poor employees probably isn’t going to make them feel better. Of that number, slips and trips – which you’d imagine were easily assessed for risk and sorted – was the most common form of accident, causing 21,585 injuries.

 

The cost to business for poor health and safety standards is also dramatically high. Approximately 4.7 million work days are lost due to workplace injuries, and the total cost to businesses stands at an estimated £800 million a year.

Enforcing the Law

Poor implementation of health and safety practices certainly don’t go unnoticed. There are numerous agencies who enforce health and safety across the UK. Of course, the HSE leads the charge, but also the local authorities of England and Wales, as well as Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal also try to ensure the maximum safety for employees, while punishing those who wilfully disregard the law.

 

Not all lead to a court case and prosecution – enforcement notices are often sent to employees, a warning shot, if you will, to make sure the company knuckles down with its health and safety obligations. In the UK, 13,790 of these were sent out.

 

But what of those cases which do end up in court? The HSE had phenomenal success, with 551 prosecutions throughout England and Wales. 35 cases were prosecuted by the Procurator Fiscal, and in England and Wales, local authorities were responsible for 88 prosecuted cases.

 

None of this means employers should rest on their laurels – ensuring the health and safety of their employees means constant vigilance. But if you have suffered an injury at work, then we’re on hand to help. Simply contact us on 0800 0443 495 and our experienced and professional team of experts will be on hand to offer sound advice and assist with your enquiries.

Can Technology Help to Improve Road Safety?

Automotive technology has made numerous advances over the past few years, with car manufacturers introducing wireless phone calls, voice commands and computerised systems to their newer models.

However, these advances may no longer be solely for the sake of entertainment and convenience, but may actually work to improve road safety. Earlier this month, Volvo announced that their new pilot scheme could in fact change the way we consider the safety of Britain’s roads.

What does the Technology involve?

Volvo has developed a brand new way of considering and dealing with road safety. Its pilot will be launched with a thousand of its XC90 cars in Norway and Sweden, both countries of which suffer from adverse and extreme weather conditions.

This new, innovative technology is designed to increase the safety of drivers and passengers by uploading information about treacherous conditions to the ‘cloud’.

How it Works

The XC90 cars with the pilot software will use sensors embedded into the vehicles to transmit information about road issues and conditions back to a universal information system, also known as ‘the cloud’.

This information will then be relayed back to other drives through a warning, which will caution them about conditions such as slippery or icy roads.

As well as this, Volvo will also send the information to local and road authorities, allowing them to receive advance notice of any conditions that may require their attention or action. This is intended to save time; particularly where conditions could cause accidents and potentially cost lives.

 

‘Connected Safety’

This new technology is part of a wider project that Volvo is developing, which is focused on what it has named ‘connected safety’. Volvo sees this as the future of the automotive industry, and the company is making further developments to use its technology to refine their ambition for increased safety on the roads.

By using this wide network of anonymous road data sharing, alongside other computerised in-car technologies, Volvo believes it can strongly benefit society and ultimately save lives on the roads, as well as revolutionising the way we drive.

There are other proposed technologies that are also part of this idea of ‘connected safety’, one of the most prominent being the use of ‘smart’ traffic lights, which would be able to improve traffic flow, as well as be able to come up with accurate traffic diversions based on alerts from the ‘cloud’ about traffic jams, worsening conditions or accidents.

This idea of ‘connected safety’ could be the future of road safety, but the difference this technology could make in real life is debatable.

How much of a Difference can this Technology Make?

These technologies could prove to be highly successful in terms of accident prevention on the roads; particularly in those incidences where accidents are caused by adverse weather conditions or slippery road surfaces.

However, we must consider that accidental incidents on our roads are not the only ones that cause serious injury and threaten life. Indeed, although this technology will benefit many people in everyday circumstances, this technology would not help victims of hit and run and otherwise intentional road incidents.

What other Technologies Could Increase Road Safety?

There are other automotive technologies that are currently in development which, if successful, could greatly increase road safety.

One of the most well-known projects that is currently in development is the Google Self-Driving Car, which could potentially eliminate intentional road accidents by keeping controls steady and in line with legal restrictions, as well as decreasing accidental deaths caused by factors such as drivers breaking speed limits.

Technology could indeed revolutionise the way we think about road safety, however the impact that these technologies will make in reality remains to be seen. If you have been a victim of a road accident and require hit and run compensation, AYB Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free assessment, contact us today by calling 0800 0443 495.

A Need for Speed: Racing Games and Driving Fast

There are plenty of people out there who suggest that playing violent video games leads to real-life violence on our streets. Of course, there have been plenty of studies which directly disprove this. In fact, for the ultimate proof, simply look out of your window. The military shooter franchise Call of Duty has sold literally millions of video games, so by that logic, millions teens should now be engaged in violent warfare in the suburbs.

 

However, can the same be said for racing games, where speed is a premium virtue? Racing games are, of course, another form of power fantasy, with video game players encouraged to go flat out, make dangerous manoeuvres, and do whatever it takes to win. At a time when hit and run accidents hit the headlines each and every day, it’s certainly worth looking a little closer at whether or not there’s a link between playing racing games and reckless driving. And researchers in America certainly agree.

 

Back in 2012, Hull and Draghici published their study into the link, called ‘A Longitudinal Study of Risk-Glorifying Video Games and Reckless Driving.’ While the study is careful to note that there appears to be an association, as opposed to a direct link between cause and effect, it still makes for interesting reading given the number of car accidents we see each year.

 

The study took a colossal three-and-a-half years to complete, with 6,522 adolescents, aged between 10 and 14, questioned every eight months about a range of topics. So far, so standard, you might think. However, the crucial stages of these interviews happened during the third and fifth rounds. In stage three, respondents were asked about their video gaming habits. Specifically, they were asked whether or not they played the games Spider-man II, Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto III.

 

16 months later, in the fifth round of questions, participants were queried over whether or not they felt comfortable drinking and driving, as well as how many times police pulled them over while behind the wheel.

 

Here, the doctoral psychology students cross-referenced the answers from the third and fifth stages of questioning. The results were, frankly, astounding. While those who only played Spider-man II showed no negative effects, GTA and Manhunt gamers did reveal that they tailgate other drivers, speed, weave and cross double yellow lines far more than most. For instance, participants who claimed to have played the brutal survival horror, Manhunt, were twice as likely to cross over double yellow lines when in the car.

 

And players of Grand Theft Auto III were even worse when it comes to risk-taking behind the wheel. Not only were they precisely 1.7 times more likely to get pulled over by the police, they were also twice as likely to admit to tailgating.

 

Of course, it always begs the question: does someone drive fast because they like to play racing games, or do they play racing games because they enjoying driving fast.

 

While it’s not a comprehensive, irrefutable and conclusive report – for starters, the study relies on absolute honesty from those questioned – it should certainly open a few eyes. At a time when video games are fast becoming the ultimate medium (the average age of a gamer is now 34 years old) and reckless driving can seem worryingly high, Hull and Draghici’s study begs for further research into the topic.

 

While all of this might lead to preventative measures in the future, it’s of scant comfort to those who’ve already suffered in a hit and run accident. If you, or somebody you know, have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, then you could be eligible for compensation through the Motor Insurers Bureau. Government-regulated MIB claims can deliver compensation when you’re hit by an uninsured driver. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 0443 495 and our dedicated team will be happy to assist with all of your enquiries.

MIB Issues Scam Warning

At AYB Law, we fully support the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) in its ongoing work to compensate victims of uninsured, negligent drivers.

Recently they’ve issued a warning that we would like to highlight for all of our valuable clients. MIB have been made aware of a cold call scam in which scammers attempt to take advantage of vulnerable people by misleading them into thinking they are being contacted by MIB.

What is Cold Calling?

The term ‘cold calling’ essentially refers to an unsolicited visit or phone call, and is often a tactic used by scammers to try and receive personal information from vulnerable people.

You’re likely to have experienced cold calls that, for example, ask you if you have been mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) or telling you that you’re eligible to receive a boiler or similar items for free.

While some cold calls are made by legitimate businesses, others are not. It’s important to be aware of what to look out for, in the event that you receive a cold call, to prevent yourself from being scammed.

Details of the Scam

The MIB scam attempts to manipulate victims of road traffic accidents into giving out personal information in misleading circumstances.

MIB have been informed that scammers are cold calling people pretending to be calling on behalf of the Motor Insurance Bureau. They may say they have received their contact information from the Motor Insurance Database.

The person who has called you may do any of the following:

  • Say they have been instructed to call you by MIB in relation to your compensation or accident claim/s
  • Mislead you into giving information relating to any motor accidents you ‘ve been involved in
  • Encourage you to falsify information in order to make a claim from MIB
  • Try to trick you into giving them personal information or bank details because your ‘compensation’ has been granted – they may try to pressure you by saying you will not be awarded compensation if you don’t provide these details

Circumstances Where MIB Will Call You

Of course, MIB will occasionally have to contact people in regards to their application for compensation. These details will help you distinguish whether or not you are receiving a genuine call from MIB.

MIB contacts:

  • Individuals or their legal representatives who have submitted a compensation claim
  • Named defendants/third parties involved in a claim for compensation
  • The registered keeper/driver of a vehicle that may not be insured according to the Motor Insurance Database (MID)

MIB does not:

  • Call members of the public about submitting claims for motor accidents if they haven’t already submitted an application to MIB
  • Sell or distribute information held on the MID to unauthorised third parties
  • Ask for banking details over the phone

When receiving a call, it’s important to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, note down as much information about the call as you can and then hang up. Don’t give any of your personal information to the caller.

What You Should Do if You Receive These Calls

These scams are stopped when the authorities can gather enough information about them. If you’ve received a phone call claiming to be from MIB that doesn’t seem genuine, please report the issue using one of the forms recommended by MIB.

  • Which? – this is a campaign conducted in collaboration with the British government to try and combat nuisance calls and texts
  • Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – they’re gathering more information to try to protect consumer data
  • MIB – by emailing MIB, they can learn more about the scam and inform the authorities if it is required

At AYB Law, we’re passionate about protecting vulnerable people and getting them the compensation they deserve while also ensuring that they aren’t taken be scams that take advantage of road accident victims.

If you require hit and run compensation, we can help you get the payment you are entitled on a no win, no fee basis. Contact us today on 0800 0443 495.