The Lake District may be a beautiful place to enjoy outdoor activities, but it is increasingly becoming known as one of the most dangerous places for walkers in the UK. Recent statistics from the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association show a steady rise in fatal accidents in the area.
A large proportion of these deaths are caused by medical emergencies, like heart attacks or strokes, which can occur if the sufferer exerts themselves too much. So why has this increase in fatal accidents occurred?
There are a number of theories about this tragic rise in Lake District deaths, with some believing that the trend for exercise and healthy activity in modern life is causing some people to over-exert themselves. Walking is often seen as a relatively easy and laid-back form of exercise, but it’s foolish to go on a long walk or hike – especially if you’re not familiar with the area – without proper planning and precautions.
Causes of Fatal Accidents in the Lake District
The main reason why many of these accidents are fatal is because they are likely to happen far away from emergency assistance. In contrast to a town or city, people who suffer a medical emergency while in the Lake District are less likely to get an ambulance in time to save them. If a person is having a heart attack, receiving medical assistance as soon as possible is crucial and the difference between life and death can be minutes – minutes you probably won’t have if you’re in a remote part of the Lakes. For free advice on fatal accidents and death you may want to visit https://www.accidentclaims.co.uk/death-fatal-accident-compensation/am-i-eligible-to-claim-compensation-for-a-death-fatal-accident as it can be a very stressful situation.
The whole area of the Lake District stretches over 900 square miles, and contains a wealth of forests, lakes, green slopes and craggy mountains, many of which are unreachable by car so if an accident were to occur, an air ambulance would likely be required which could take a while to reach you. Not only this, but if you’re unable to contact the emergency services, then there is little hope of getting medical attention. This normally happens due to mobile phone issues, such as the battery running out or not having signal.
You don’t have to be unfit to have an accident while walking. Heart attacks can happen to people with no previous heart issues and the area poses other risks too. If you’re walking during the warmer months, the heat and not having enough water can cause dehydration, which can be deadly. Equally, sometimes a fatal accident can occur due to a simple navigational error, inadequate map-reading skills or simply not having the equipment you need, such as a compass and correct walking gear.
Even the most experienced walkers are at risk if they fail to plan their trek properly. So, what are some good things to keep in mind that will keep you safe while you explore the Lake District?
How to Stay Safe While Exploring the Lakes
Choose Lower Walks
Many of the low-lying walks offer beautiful views and are much less remote and dangerous than some of the craggy mountain walks.
Check the Weather
Weather can make a big difference to your walk. If the temperatures are too high or too low you might have some problems. If rain is forecast, be aware that this will cause rocks to become slippery underfoot and could also change the paths and deepness of rivers and streams. Wear the appropriate clothing and schedule your day to accommodate the possibility of having to turn back.
Take the Right Gear
Even the most basic walking gear could save your life. Make sure you have warm, waterproof walking boots, a map and a compass. A lightweight waterproof jacket is also a good idea. Take a fully charged phone with you and if possible, a battery charge-pack just in case. Whatever the weather, make sure you take plenty of water with you.
Plan Your Route Properly
Learn to navigate – that means reading a map and a compass – and have a good understanding of the route you’re taking before setting off.
If you’d rather leave the planning in someone else’s hands, you might want to go on a guided tour of the Lakes. There are a number of companies to choose from that run tours and guided walks for all levels of walker.
Stay safe and enjoy the Lake District in all its glory with these simple safety tips.
Injured While Walking? Here’s What to Do Next
If you experience an accident in the Lake District while taking part in a guided tour, you can make a personal claim against the company you were walking with. If you suffer injuries due to negligence from the guide, you could be eligible to sue for compensation.
Note that you will not be able to file a personal claim for injuries sustained by yourself due to carelessness.