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Accidents Due To a Poor Road Surface

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 10 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Accidents Due To A Poor Road Surface

If you have a road accident due to a poorly designed road surface or track, or badly maintained road safety structure such as a railing or speed bump, is there anything you can do about it?

Common Badly Maintained Road Safety Structures

Rails and barriers: In most cases these are put in place to offer drivers protection from oncoming traffic by separating the lanes or to protect pedestrians if a vehicle should enter an area off-road where people are going about their business on foot. However if these rails and barriers are badly designed or installed they can contribute to driver accidents and actually put drivers in danger.

Road Surfaces: The material that has been used to cover the road - for example concrete or asphalt, can make a significant difference to how the car feels and handles. There are different levels of friction depending on the type of road surface you are driving on, and this can affect several things including your stopping distances and your chances of skidding in the wet. If the road surface is not well maintained it makes it more likely that an accident will occur e.g. if it has been raining then the road may be slippery and in these conditions any road holes or bumps will be hard to see, but can significantly increase the chances of a collision or at least a loss of control

Road Markings: Road Markings need to clearly visible and understandable to drivers. Driving on motorways and country roads you may see reflective markings and signs that show you where there are upcoming bends, or lane endings. Middle of the road markings that show where you are not allowed to overtake or turn around are also useful in making traffic safer and are especially so in bad weather and low visibility. However bad or unreadable road markings can distract and confuse motorists, making driving an altogether more difficult and dangerous experience.

Accidents As a Result of Poor Road Structures

If you are unlucky enough to have a road accident and you believe that it is due at least in part to a bad road surface, a badly maintained or installed road safety structure or insignificant or incorrect road markings, then you should take the following steps:

See if there are any witnesses around who can corroborate your claims. Make sure you get contact details for any people who saw what happened, as you may need to provide evidence if you put forward a claim.

If you have a disposable camera in your glovebox or you have a camera phone, take photographs of the offending road surface and the damage caused. If you are taking photographs of a hole in the road, or an area of disrepair, try using something to show scale of the defect - a ruler if possible, or a compact disc or mobile phone - otherwise it can be impossible to appreciate just how big something is when you look at it later.

How To Take it Further

Once you have evidence that the road is damaged or badly maintained, you should speak with your insurance company and with their consent, contact the local authority responsible for the road or structure. Send them copies of your photographs along with a detailed description of the accident and how you believe the road surface contributed to it.

The local authority is expected to carry out regular road inspections in certain timescales, and they may have already had prior warning that the road involved in your incident was not up to standard, but they are unlikely to admit this to you.

You may also find that a private company can be liable if they are responsible for something that has affected the road surface - e.g. mud or oil. If they didn't offer sufficient warning, you may be able to pursue a case against them.

If you feel you have a good case it is often worth going to the Citizen's Advice Bureau or if you know a good solicitor, getting some legal advice before proceeding.

Taking Legal Proceedings

If you do decide to take the legal route, your solicitor is then likely to be able to force the local authority to show them their inspection records and determine whether or not they knew the road needed to be repaired. They should also be able to confirm that they have upheld their responsibility in inspecting the roads as they should, or in the case of a private company, they can challenge them with the allegations and see how they respond. Either way,a solicitor will be able to take if further for you.

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My son has had a rta, he was at fault & hit another vehicle during a skid. He is a named dirver on my policy & was driving my car. 18momths ago another driver claimed my son hit his car & damaged it. My son was on his moped which he has his own insurnace for. My son says he didnt hit the other vehicl & claims there was no sign if any damage to the other vehicle. He told his moped insurers that there wasnt any damage which he and the other driver agreed on at the time of the incident. Since then he heard no more on the matter. On renwal of his moped policy a couple of momths ago my son found out the other driver had submitted a claim against him which unbeknown to him my sons insurers settled without consulting my son. He only became aware of this at renwal. He did not tell me about it at All. Before his moped renwal i added my son to my car insurance as named driver & declared the one accident he had had which i knew about (not the same incident as above). Neither my son or I were aware of the other claim at that time as such it wasnt disclosed. My son has this week had an RTA in my car & collided with another vehicle after he skidded on slippery road surface. I have subsequently submitted a claim to my insurers, my son has only just now told me about the disputed issue on his moped and the subsequent claim which seems to have been dealt with without him knowing. at the time i added him to my policy neither of us were Aware of the claim & nor had any liability for the incident been accepted by my son. As we were unaware i did not fail to disclose anything, nor did my son although perhaps he should of told me when he did find out? will this affect my claim/insurance.
Mollydolly - 10-Feb-17 @ 1:25 PM
My son has had a rta, he was at fault & hit another vehicle during a skid. He is a named dirver on my policy & was driving my car. 18momths ago another driver claimed my son hit his car & damaged it. My son was on his moped which he has his own insurnace for. My son says he didnt hit the other vehicl & claims there was no sign if any damage to the other vehicle. He told his moped insurers that there wasnt any damage which he and the other driver agreed on at the time of the incident. Since then he heard no more on the matter. On renwal of his moped policy a couple of momths ago my son found out the other driver had submitted a claim against him which unbeknown to him my sons insurers settled without consulting my son. He only became aware of this at renwal. He did not tell me about it at All. Before his moped renwal i added my son to my car insurance as named driver & declared the one accident he had had which i knew about (not the same incident as above). Neither my son or I were aware of the other claim at that time as such it wasnt disclosed. My son has this week had an RTA in my car & collided with another vehicle after he skidded on slippery road surface. I have subsequently submitted a claim to my insurers, my son has only just now told me about the disputed issue on his moped and the subsequent claim which seems to have been dealt with without him knowing. at the time i added him to my policy neither of us were Aware of the claim & nor had any liability for the incident been accepted by my son. As we were unaware i did not fail to disclose anything, nor did my son although perhaps he should of told me when he did find out? will this affect my claim/insurance.
Mollydolly - 10-Feb-17 @ 12:33 PM
I tripped over a pothole in a road and nearly fell over. I am very scared of roads now and am scared of going on them now. Please help me I would massively appreciate it.
hashim - 14-Nov-16 @ 11:36 AM
I fell over on a road and hurt myself and started crying becos it hurt badly. I am currebntly recovering. pls plray for me
big lou - 14-Nov-16 @ 11:30 AM
@Freddie. Try the Highways Agency in the first instance.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 26-Mar-15 @ 2:33 PM
At night I had to switch to the M27 hard shoulder because of roadworks.There were flashing lights from cones and lorries working on resurfacing. The road was narrow and difficult to follow.I hit a cone lying on its side in carriageway.I could not stop it was too dangerous and I had someone driving right behind.I subsequently found I had a very expensive hole in my bumper! Who do I contact about a claim and what are my chances of recovery? Help!
Freddie - 24-Mar-15 @ 3:15 PM
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