Drivers’ complacency is costing lives

Distractions can prove deadly while driving.
Distractions can prove deadly while driving.

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

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.

However, the top two give the most obvious reasons for the incident, “failure to look properly” combined with a “failure to judge another person’s path or speed”.

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

Simple human errors continue to cause the majority of incidents.

Drivers cannot blame something or someone else for a collision happening, it is down to everyone 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.

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.

Recently the Department for Transport (DfT) published the latest incident 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.

Sarah Sillars,

chief executive officer,

Institute of Advanced Motorists,

Chiswick High Road,

London.