Main crash cause is 'failure to look'

Main crash cause is 'failure to look'

More than 30,000 road accidents a year are caused by drivers failing to look properly, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

After a crash takes place, police can record up to six contributory factors from a list of 77 to explain why they think the accident occurred. The top two give the most obvious reasons for the incident.

Analysis by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has found that 'failure to look properly' and a 'failure to judge another person's path or speed' was the most common contributory factor combination recorded in 2013, responsible for 13,299 accidents, or 7% of the total number.

This was followed by 'failure to look properly' combined with 'carelessness or recklessness', or 'judged to be in a hurry'. These accounted for 9,132 accidents, or 5% of the total.

Third 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'. These were said to be a factor in 4,339 accidents, or 2% of the total.

The data , which was released following a Freedom of Information request to the Department for Transport, also lists a number of other reasons.

More than 3,000 accidents were caused by 'slippery roads due to weather conditions' combined with 'loss of vehicle control', which was number seven on the list.

Some 1,470 accidents were caused by 'excessive speed' combined with 'losing control of the vehicle' (number 17).

'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' the cause of 1,418 accidents.

The top 20 combinations of reasons for accidents, which can push up car insurance premiums, accounted for a total of 200,074 collisions in 2013.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, says many accidents happen because people "eventually get complacent behind the wheel and inattention creeps in", especially if drivers are tired or distracted.

The message is clear that motorists must give their full attention to driving as they cannot do two things at once if one of them is driving, she warns.

Copyright Press Association 2015 (data)