The IAM says a Freedom of Information request to the DfT confirmed ‘failure to look properly’ as the most common contributory factor which is included in more than 30,000 collisions annually.
While police can record up to six contributory factors from a list of 77, the IAM says “the top two give the most obvious reasons for the incident”.
Analysis of the 2013 contributory factors showed ‘failure to look properly’ and ‘failure to judge another person’s path or speed’ as the top combination, responsible for 13,299 collisions, or 7% of the total.
Next was ‘failure to look properly’ combined with ‘carelessness or recklessness’, or ‘judged to be in a hurry’. These totalled 9,132 incidents, 5% of the total.
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.”