Human factors continue to significantly outweigh other reasons for crashes on British roads, according to new analysis by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). The road safety group has renewed its call for drivers to look on improving driving skills as part of their lifelong personal development.
Figures from the Department of Transport apparently show that in 2014 driver/rider error or reaction were cited as contributory factors in 74% of accidents, involving more than 117,000 casualties.
The second highest factor was ‘behaviour or inexperience’, which was cited as a contributory factor in 26% of accidents, accounting for more than 40,000 casualties.
Child pedestrians are two and a half times more likely than adults to be injured in road accidents, according to new figures from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH).
Although accident rates are falling, more child and adult pedestrians are injured in road traffic accidents in deprived areas compared with more affluent areas. Over the last decade, in deprived areas, three times as many child pedestrians were injured than in less deprived areas. Similarly, in deprived areas there were 2.5 times as many adult pedestrians injured than in less deprived areas.
For cyclists, there has been a rise in adult cyclist casualties in the last decade and casualty rates are consistently higher in the more affluent neighbourhoods, which is likely to relate to a greater number of cyclists commuting from these areas.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has called on the newly-elected Government to commit to the safety of young drivers.
The safety charity is lobbying ministers to agree to a Green Paper on young drivers in a bid to save the hundreds of 17-24 year olds who are killed or seriously injured on the roads each year.
According to RoSPA, a total of 131 young drivers were killed on the roads in 2013, while 1,159 were left with serious injuries.
Google’s self-driving cars have been involved in at least eleven road accidents since they were introduced in 2009, however, according to the technology giants, the accidents have been a result of other drivers crashing into the smart cars.
According to Google, the vast majority of incidents have occurred when drivers hit the back of the smart cars when they stop. The figures come following the mainstream press in the United States criticising the cars.
Chris Urmson, the director of Google’s self-driving car programme said that there have been “11 minor accidents (light damage, no injuries) during 1.7 million miles of autonomous and manual driving with our safety drivers behind the wheel”.
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