117,524 accidents in 2014 were caused by driver/rider error or reaction, according to Department of Transport statistics. That’s a heady 74% of the total.
The next-biggest contributory factor was driver behaviour or inexperience, cited in 40,778 accidents, or 26%; just behind was so-called injudicious action, which was a factor in 25% of accidents.
Distracted drivers caused 21,916 accidents (14%) and the road environment was a factor in 20,253 accidents (13%). And vehicle defects? Just 2% of accidents, or 3,230 instances.
Up to six contributory factors can be cited in accidents, adds the IAM, which is why the total doesn’t equal 100%.
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.”
And what’s the cure? “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.” Which is easier said than done…