Lack of observation is major factor in UK road accidents

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has identified that once again ‘failure to look properly’ is the most common contributory factor in more than 30,000 vehicle accidents a year.

Thursday, 9th July 2015, 10:59 am
Institute of Advanced Motorists

These figure were released following a Freedom of Information request to the Department for Transport.

Police can record up to six contributory factors from a list of 77 for each incident to explain why they think a crash took place but the top two give the most obvious reasons for the incident.

Analysis of the 2013 contributory factor combinations shows that top of the list was ‘failure to look properly’ combined with a ‘failure to judge another person’s path or speed’.

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These two together were responsible for 13,299 accidents, or seven per cent of the total number.

Next up was ‘failure to look properly’ combined with ‘carelessness or recklessness’, or ‘judged to be in a hurry’. These totalled 9,132 accidents, or five per cent of the total.

Other reasons to emerge from the data were more than 3,000 accidents caused by ’slippery roads due to weather conditions’ combined with ‘loss of vehicle control’ and 1,470 accidents caused by ‘excessive speed’ combined with’ losing control of the vehicle’.

Failure to look appears twice more in the top 20 with ‘aggressive driving’ combined with ‘carelessness or recklessness’, or ‘judged to be in a hurry’ bottom of the list.

These were the cause of 1,418 accidents.

The top 20 combinations of reasons totalled some 200,074 accidents.

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 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.”

The latest accident statistics for Britain show overall casualties have risen for the first time in 18 years.

There were 1,775 reported road deaths in 2014, an increase of four per cent compared with 2013.

The number of those killed or seriously injured in Britain increased by five per cent to 24,582.

There were a total of 194,477 casualties of all severities, an increase of six per cent – the first increase in overall casualties since 1997.