Cars don’t lose control; drivers do, says IAM
The report, entitled "Licensed to skill: Contributory factors in accidents" presents the analysis of five years' worth of accident data, recorded by the police between 2005 and 2009.
Factors including "failed to look properly", "loss of control" and "poor turn or manoeuvre" accounted for 65.3% of fatal, 61.8% of serious and 68.6% of slight accidents. Injudicious action – illegal or unwise judgements – such as exceeding the speed limit, following too close, or making an illegal turn, was the second biggest factor, accounting for another 31.4% of accidents. Alcohol was a relatively minor factor, listed in only 10% of fatal accidents.
Behaviour or inexperience came a close third, being a factor in 28.0% of accidents. In contrast, physical circumstances such as road environment, factors affecting vision, and vehicle defects are listed as issues in very few accidents.
"Travelling too fast for the conditions" accounts for more fatal accidents than "exceeding speed limit", which represent fourth and fifth places.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: 'The evidence is there. Accidents could be easily reduced by improving driver skills and lives could be saved – especially those of young drivers.'
He added: 'The IAM calls on the Government to introduce post-test training, to support young drivers through the most dangerous part of their driving career, and to improve their skills for the rest of their lives.'