Road casualties happened since the first route was constructed, but considering today’s technology and innovation, the high global number of accidents is concerning. Indeed, fatalities are decreasing ―in the UK, there was a 2% reduction from 2019 to 2022, while casualties decreased by 12% during the same period.
The causes of road accidents are usually the same. Drivers are either under the influence of different substances or unnecessarily speeding up, making it difficult for others to forecast their movements. At the same time, distracted driving is increasingly common, but poor road conditions and car defects are also considered dangerous.
However, we can state that drivers are the main effect of road casualties. Unfortunately, there are no ways to estimate when an accident will happen. Still, sometimes, drivers can prevent them by being wary of reckless individuals, so watch out for these dangerous driver categories.
Drivers impaired by alcohol
Although the rate of road fatalities caused by drunk driving is only 10% in the UK, driving under the influence (DUI) is considerably unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private cars as most of the time, drunk drivers speed up the vehicle but their reflexes are slow.
Spotting drunk drivers on the road can be easy following these signs:
- In and out lane swerving due to inability to focus;
- Slow driving as a way to avoid being suspected;
- Ignoring traffic lights or other signals;
- Drinking while driving;
It’s best to take another path when noticing these behaviours if you can. Sometimes, drunk drivers can also be impulsive, leading to an unnecessary tease on the road that can transform into an accident. If this was the case and you’ve been the victim of a driver’s recklessness, you should check out a guide on how to sue for compensation if the damages were considerable.
Drivers texting while driving
Smartphones have taken over our lives, so it’s not uncommon to see people scrolling everywhere, whether waiting for the bus at the station or walking somewhere. Unfortunately, drivers too use their smartphones while wheeling, hindering their reflexes and capacity to notice sudden things on the road.
Driver inattention affects their response capacity, but since their attention is not focused on the road, they can easily be the cause of an accident. Usually, you can spot these drivers when looking down as they hide it, but if they don’t immediately start driving when the traffic lights are green, it might show they’re scrolling. Texting while driving is illegal in the UK, including holding and using a smartphone or other device, regardless of the reason. Individuals who use their phones while driving can receive a fine starting from £200 up to £1,000. Drivers must only use hands-free gadgets for talking on the phone, for example.
Drivers prone to road rage
Road rage is a common problem on the road, as many people don’t have the patience to wait for the traffic lights to change or be tolerant to beginners, so they speed up unnecessarily and, in the worst case, start getting aggressive toward other road participants.
Some of the signs of a violent driver include the following:
- Tailgating intentionally;
- Lane blocking;
- Cutting off other drivers;
- Running red lights;
- Aggressive horn use;
There are some areas in the UK where drivers are considered dangerous due to a high number of violent drivers, such as Lancashire, West Mercia and South Wales. Hence, if you’re driving around these places, it’s best to let these drivers pass and not make eye contact with them, as well as contact authorities if a violent driver is following you.
Drivers who just got their license
In the UK, around 75% of adults hold a driving license among all citizens, according to Statista. As the gap between male and female drivers closed considerably in the past, this might cause fewer road fatalities, as women tend to be less aggressive while driving. On the other hand, fewer teens aged 17 or older are getting their licenses compared to 20 years ago, primarily due to environmental concerns.
However, youngsters on the road can indeed be dangerous, so they must display specific “learner” plates in the front and rear of the car for other road participants to be wary of their lack of experience and may be able to avoid them.
Young people might have the best intentions while driving, but they can get confused or scared easily, especially when alone in the car. Their muscle memory isn’t trained enough on braking or pulling up, so they’re prone to trigger accidents.
Drivers who “know better”
Sometimes, you may see drivers tailgating or misusing their high beams. But that doesn’t happen due to road rage, but just because they “know better” how to drive and protect themselves. This behaviour is not only toxic but also one of the worst examples for young drivers on how to use a vehicle on the road.
These types of drivers mishandle their vehicles by avoiding the use of turn signals, honking, and braking unnecessarily, but they’re not aggressive― they just see themselves as professional. Other road participants don’t know what to expect of them, so accidents can happen at any moment. This superior way of driving can be challenging to handle, but the best thing to do is stay calm and change lanes to be as far as possible from these drivers. Braking slowly and decreasing the speed is also advisable to prepare for an unforeseen situation.
Driving is globally accessible, so everyone can get their driver’s license through tests. But not everyone is suitable for driving among the hectic traffic, and we can see that based on the high number of road casualties. Drivers who drink, use their smartphones, or are aggressive during driving must be avoided at all costs in order to lower the chances of a road accident, so next time you’re driving, look for the signs of the reckless driver to dodge a bullet.