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Understanding common causes of motor vehicle accidents and how to prevent them



Taxi drivers have responsibility for their own well-being but also that of their passengers and employees, meaning they must maintain an awareness of accident prevention measures. Reducing the likelihood of accidents not only protects human life but also minimises the risk of operational downtime, an important factor in the smooth running of taxi businesses.

Here, the experts in road accidents at Graham Coffey & Co. Solicitors explain the most common causes of car accidents in the UK, and the best preventative measures to minimise the risk of occurrence.

Common causes of motor vehicle accidents

Speeding

Excessive speed is one of the leading causes of road accidents. Driving at speeds higher than the recommended limits increases the chances of losing control of the vehicle, and it also reduces the time available to react to unexpected situations.

For taxi drivers, the urgency to pick up and drop off passengers can sometimes make speeding seem like an efficient option. However, the risks far outweigh the marginal benefits of arriving at a destination a few minutes early.


Driver fatigue

The relationship between driver fatigue and road accidents is well-established. Tiredness severely impairs reaction time and decision-making capabilities.

For taxi drivers, this issue is particularly relevant. Long working hours, often late into the night, make them susceptible to fatigue. Taxi service providers must address this problem seriously and ensure their drivers have sufficient rest periods.

Poor weather conditions

Weather conditions such as fog, heavy rain, or snow can substantially increase the risk of a road accident. Poor visibility and slippery surfaces make it difficult to control a vehicle effectively.

Taxi drivers need to be trained to adapt to these conditions, as they cannot simply opt out of driving when the weather turns foul. By preparing and training their workforce for such conditions, taxi services can do their part in reducing weather-related incidents.

Mobile phone use

The use of mobile phones while driving is not just illegal but exceedingly dangerous, contributing to a significant number of accidents.

For taxi drivers, the in-car communication gadgets and GPS systems used for work can be just as distracting. Employers should train drivers to use such devices responsibly and ensure they are set up to be as non-intrusive as possible.

Drugs and alcohol


Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, highly irresponsible and dangerous.

For those in the taxi industry, the repercussions extend beyond personal injury and legal complications. A driver found guilty of such an offence is likely to lose their professional licence, leading to significant ramifications for their employer.


Preventative measures

Driver training


Comprehensive training for drivers is an invaluable preventative measure. Specifically tailored training modules that address the common causes of accidents can significantly mitigate risks.

Taxi drivers should undergo training for inclement weather, fatigue management, and responsible use of in-car technology.

Vehicle maintenance


Regular maintenance checks are crucial for all vehicles but especially so for taxis, which are on the road far more frequently than private cars. Poorly maintained vehicles are an accident waiting to happen. A tire blowout or brake failure could have devastating consequences.

Employers must ensure that taxis undergo regular inspections and maintenance work to keep them in optimal condition.


Technology integration


In today's world, various advanced safety technologies can significantly reduce the risk of road accidents. Systems like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, and automatic emergency braking can prove invaluable.

By integrating these technologies into their fleets, taxi services can take a big step forward in ensuring the safety of their drivers and passengers.


Find expert legal advice following an accident


Road accidents have far-reaching consequences that can seriously impair a taxi business. Given the operational realities of the taxi industry, business owners and industry leaders must prioritise safety measures to mitigate risks. Adopting a proactive rather than a reactive approach is vital. Comprehensive driver training, regular vehicle maintenance, and the integration of advanced safety technologies can all contribute to reducing the likelihood of accidents.

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