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Now that's using your loaf!

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A Scottish mother of two has had a slice of luck after being involved in a horrific crash last week, but walking away with only cuts and bruises. Liz Douglas, 51, was on her way home from a shopping trip in Glasgow when her car flipped onto its roof after she lost control in a heavy rain storm. Mrs Douglas said that she felt the rear of her car sliding and tried to straighten up but saw that she was heading for a telegraph pole.  As she braked sharply, a sliced loaf of bread was thrown from her shopping bag and wedged itself between her head and the roof of the car, cushioning her and preventing major head trauma. The bread stayed in place until firemen were able to cut her free from the wreckage of the vehicle. Mrs Douglas said "For some reason, the airbags didn't inflate so the loaf was the only cushion I had. It saved my life." She was taken to hospital where she was given the all clear. Unfortunately the loaf suffered a number of lacerations.

This is not the only unusual accident recently in the news. Lisa Somerville, 28, was driving home last year during a heavy rainstorm, also in Scotland, when she lost control of her vehicle and crashed head-on into another car. The mum of one suffered injuries including a punctured lung, four fractured ribs and a broken nose, however doctors at Glasgow Royal Infirmary told her that as she was wearing a bra padded out with chest enhancers, they had almost certainly saved her life. Lisa said "Thanks to my chicken fillets I was still alive. I was told that otherwise, my ribs would certainly have pierced my heart." Unfortunately Lisa had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time, and no doubt her injuries would have been much less, with or without the extra material in her bra, if she had chosen to do so.

Obviously these two stories have a light hearted element to them; however, both demonstrate how easy it is to lose control of a vehicle in poor weather conditions. Government statistics are frightening in respect of the sheer number of people injured or killed on roads over the last year. In the year ending June 2011, 1910 people were killed on British roads, and there were a staggering 206,850 casualties (minor, serious and fatal injuries). Although the figures were down on the previous year, they are still horrifying.

With the advent of winter, meteorologists are anticipating poor weather and driving conditions over the next few months, and therefore it is essential to not only keep your vehicle in good working order (checking tyres, oil levels etc), but to ensure that you drive in a safe manner for the road conditions. Always use seatbelts, and in cold conditions have items such as de-icer, ice scrapers etc in your car. Whilst Mrs Douglas and Ms Somerville's rather unusual safety equipment came in handy, they do not come featured on the "essential items" list when driving in inclement weather!

If you are involved in a road traffic accident, Stephensons have a specialist team who can deal with your claim for you, with friendly and helpful staff to guide you through the process.

By personal injury executive, Pauline Smith