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More driver training needed to reduce car crashes

  • Driver error still a major factor in crashes
  • Behaviour and inexperience cited second
  • Institute of Advanced Motorists calls for more driver training

Driver error is still a major contributing factor towards crashes on British roads, according to statistical analysis by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

The group, which is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, is calling on drivers to improve their driving skills beyond the training received before passing the standard driving test, such as that offered by the organisation itself.

When compiling a report into an accident, police officers can cite up to six factors including impairment or distraction and vehicle defects.

Crash data from 2014, provided by the Department of Transport, showed that in 74 percent of accidents involving some 117,000 casualties, driver or rider error was recorded as a contributing factor.

While human error was the most frequently used criteria, the second highest was ‘behaviour or inexperience’ which was cited in 26 percent of accidents.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “People often blame their car, the road, or the other driver for the accidents and near misses that they have. These figures show that in the vast majority of cases, it’s the driver or rider themselves who is to blame.

“Changing attitudes is the key factor when it comes to reducing the numbers of casualties on our roads. People must accept responsibility for enhancing their own skills and recognising their limitations.

“It is not enough to leave people to their own devices once they have passed their test. Like so many other areas of life extra coaching pays dividends – and for a driver or rider, that means keeping their skills fresh by continuous assessment.”

Main contributing factor citation breakdown

  • Driver-rider error or reaction: 74 percent
  • Behaviour or inexperience: 26 percent
  • Injudicious action: 25 percent
  • Impairment or distraction: 14 percent
  • Road environment contributed: 13 percent
  • Vehicle defects: 2 percent