Driving Horror Stories

1. An employee with a large executive car loaned it to his wife and came to work in her somewhat aged Ford Fiesta. During the day the employee needed to make a visit on behalf of the company and decided to use the Fiesta. During the journey the brakes failed and the driver was killed. The wife is currently suing the employer for allowing the driver to use an unsafe vehicle on company business.

2. A solicitor’s clerk, returning to chambers in his own car, was asked by his employer to take with him a rather heavy legal volume. This was placed on the parcel shelf of the car. During the course of the journey an emergency stop caused the book to hit the clerk on the back of the head and an accident occurred. A successful prosecution, for driving without insurance, followed as the clerk only had Sd & P Cover and he was considered to be acting on behalf of his employer at the time of the accident.

3. The Transport Management was asked by a young man aged 21, the value of the grade of car to which he would be entitled in his new position. On receiving the information he asked for a Subaru Impretza WRX as his new car. This was refused on the grounds of his inexperience. He then approached the Human Resources department as the company had a “cash for cars policy” and therefore opted out of the company car scheme and took the “own vehicle” payment scheme with which he obtained the Subaru Impretza. Sadly three weeks later he was killed in a high-speed crash. The bereaved family successfully sued the company, resulting in a considerable out of court settlement.

4. In 2004 an accident occurred on the M1 at 10.15pm. Investigation showed the driver had commenced driving at 3.30 am and during the course of the day had assisted in fitting two kitchens 122miles apart. It was also proved that he was not wearing a seatbelt and could have possibly been using a mobile phone at the time of the accident. However evidence suggested that the primary cause of the accident was lack of rest, which had caused the driver to fall asleep. A passenger in the van was the Managing Director of the Company who owned the van who was said to use slogans such as “eating’s cheating” and “you can sleep when you are dead”; somewhat prophetic in the circumstances. Currently an interim payment has been paid to the paralysed driver of £400,000 with final payment to be reduced by 33% due to his negligence in not wearing a seatbelt.

5. An unladen 6 wheel lorry was being driven back to its base in South Wales. On an uphill stretch of road a car travelling in the opposite direction ran across the road and into the front of the lorry. All five occupants of the car were killed. When Police arrived at the scene of the accident the driver of the lorry was cautioned that he might face prosecution but the grounds for prosecution were not made clear. He was taken to a police station breathalysed and interviewed for several hours regarding his workload during the day and during the previous seven days. The heavy goods vehicle was taken away for forensic examination and not returned to the owners for 6 weeks. During this time the records of the company owning the vehicle were scrutinised in detail and the tachograph instrument removed from the vehicle. Eventually, as no fault was found with the vehicle or the actions of its driver, the lorry was released to the owners and it had to be rebuilt! The company, and its driver, received a letter to say that there were no grounds on which a successful prosecution could proceed. Sadly the driver found the stress such that he decided to find a non-driving occupation.