IAM blames "Complacency" for majority of road collisons

OFFICIALS from the IAM have called for the continuous assessment of drivers after blaming “complacency” for many of Britain’s 200,000 road traffic accidents each year.

A Freedom of Information request made by the Institute of Advanced Motorists to the Department for Transport revealed that a “failure to look properly” combined with a “failure to judge another person's path or speed” were to blame for seven per cent of all accidents.

Police can record up to six contributory factors from a list of 77 for each incident and a “failure to look properly” combined with “carelessness or recklessness”, or “judged to be in a hurry”, were next up in the ranking of key causes, being blamed for five per cent of collisions.

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.

"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."

Other reasons to emerge from the data were more than 3,000 accidents caused by  “slippery roads due to weather conditions” combined with a “loss of vehicle control”, which was seventh on the list 

Down the list in 17th place were “excessive speed” combined with “losing control of the vehicle” — the cause of 1,470 accidents. 

Two weeks ago the Department for Transport (DfT) published the latest accident statistics for Britain which showed overall casualties have risen for the first time in 18 years.

The figures show 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.