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'Failure to look properly' revealed as main cause of road accidents in 2014

Institute for Advanced Motorists reveal troubling road incident statistics
Institute for Advanced Motorists reveal troubling road incident statistics
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Tuesday, 07, Jul 2015 11:56

by Ellie Pritchard

Road casualties see increase of four percent from last year

A troubling report from the Institue of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has revealed the top causes of road incidents on UK roads.

Following a Freedom of Information request to the Department for Transport (DfT), the IAM has announced that 'failure to look properly' is the most common contributant to over 30,000 vehicle accidents per year.

Police are able to record up to six contributory factors from a list of 77 for each road incident as an explanation of why they think a crash took place, but the top two factors give the most obvious reasons for the incident.

After analysing the 2013 contributory factor combinations, it can be said that top on the list was 'failure to look properly' combined with a 'failure to judge another person's path or speed'. These two factors were responsible for 13,299 accidents out of the 30,000.

The second most frequent combination was revealed to be 'failure to look properly' and 'carelessness or recklessness', or 'judged to be in a hurry'. These totalled 9,132 accidents.

Taking third place on the list was 'failure to judge another driver's path or speed' combined with 'carelessness or recklessness', or 'judged to be in a hurry'. Together these factors were judged to influence 4,339 accidents.

The report went on to reveal that more than 3,000 accidents were caused by 'slippery roads due to weather conditions' in a combination with 'loss of vehicle control', which was number seven on the list. In addition, at number 17, 'excessive speed' in combination with 'losing control of the vehicle' is said to have cause 1,470 accidents.

Making it even more cause for concern, 'failure to look' has appeared twice on the top 20 list, in combination with 'carelessness or recklessness' and 'judged to be in a hurry' - which has taken the bottom place on the list. Together, these contributing factors caused 1,418 accidents on UK roads in 2014.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: "These figures show conclusively that simple human errors continue to cause the majority of accidents. Drivers cannot blame something or someone else for a collision happening, it is down to every one of us to make a difference.

"We feel that many people eventually get complacent behind the wheel and inattention creeps in. Combine this with fatigue and distractions, inside and outside the vehicle and the message is clear that drivers must apply their full attention to driving - you simply cannot do two things at once if one of them is driving," continued Sillars.

"We have consistently advocated that continuous assessment is one of the main ways to ensure no driver gets into bad behaviours that cannot then be rectified."

A total of 200,074 road accidents were caused by the combinations on the top 20 list. If you're interested in reading the full table of combinations, it can be downloaded here.

The Department for Transport published the latest British road accident statistics two weeks ago. The data shows that Britain has seen an increase in overall casualties for the first time since 1997.

The number of reported road fatalities in 2014 has been totalled to 1,775 which is a massive 4% increase since 2013. The total number of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads has seen 5% increase, with the exact figures being totalled at 24,582.

The total number of casualties of all severities has been reported as 194,477. This 6% increase is the first increase in overall road casualties in the UK for 18 years.

We here at MotorbikeTimes want all of our readers to take caution and pay attention while driving to stay safe on the roads.

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