Lawford Kidd's Blog

Lawford Kidd's injury solicitors' blog designed to cover all areas of the law relating to accident compensation claims, injury claims and no win no fee in Scotland.

The Dangers of Drinking and Walking

Drunk pedestrians can be a major cause of traffic accidents, according to new research by price comparison website Confused.com.

The research shows that over 6,000 ‘drunk’ pedestrians have been injured on UK roads since 20111, and many of these ‘drunk walking’ accidents are happening over the Christmas period.

Drunk pedestrians are most at risk of injury on UK roads between the times of 22:00-23:59, perhaps as a result of a long night of drinking. Men are apparently the most likely to drink-walk, and account for more than three quarters (79%) of all drunk pedestrian road incidents.

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Campaign Launched to Reduce Road Deaths

A new campaign to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Scotland’s roads has been launched by road safety charity Brake.

Figures show that 172 people were killed and 1,667 seriously injured on Scottish roads last year, and across the UK as a whole there are five deaths and 61 serious injuries every day.

As part of the campaign, Brake and partners RSA and Specsavers have revealed statistics showing that shocking numbers of drivers are senselessly risking lives by flouting traffic laws. There were 105,807 fixed penalty notices issued for ‘careless driving’ and speeding offences in Scotland in 2013 – one every five minutes.

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Company Fined for Edinburgh Warehouse Fall

A roofing company from Bristol has recently appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, where it pled guilty to failing to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to its employees when working at heights after an employee fell through a roof light.

The incident happened in July last year at a warehouse in Gorgie Park Road, Edinburgh, where three employees of the roofing company were carrying out patch repairs on the flat roof of the vacant warehouse.

The case was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found that the risk assessment carried out was not appropriate for the task, and that the system of work was unsafe. The HSE concluded that the accident could have been avoided had reasonably practicable precautions been taken.

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Preventing Death and Injury on the Roads

The Northern Ireland Assembly has recently introduced a package of measures designed to change the way young people learn to drive.

Following this news, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has called on the UK Government to take similar action and implement a package of reforms that would include:

  • Introducing a 12 month minimum learning period.
  • Developing a more structured syllabus.
  • Introducing a restricted phase where there is a limit of the number of passengers a new driver can carry, the time of the day they drive and a lowering of the blood alcohol limit.

These are all critical components of a Graduated Driver Licensing scheme, which are designed to provide new drivers with driving experience and skills over a longer period of time.

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Risky hands-free calls at the wheel on the rise

Just over ten years after hand-held mobiles were banned at the wheel, Brake is renewing its call to ban hands-free kits, as a Brake and Direct Line survey reveals that almost half (45%) of drivers admit to chatting when driving.

While the use of hand-held phones by drivers has dropped, hands-free use has risen, likely to be linked to the mistaken belief that it is a safe alternative.

For the past ten years, Brake believes that the lack of a total ban has left many drivers unaware that using a hands-free mobile at the wheel is just as risky as using a hand-held. According to the survey, three in ten (32%) don't know that any type of phone use while driving is dangerous.

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