Drivers at fault in most accidents

Driver error is still the cause of the majority of road accidents, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
The Citroen and a Forth Transit collided. Picture: Lisa FergusonThe Citroen and a Forth Transit collided. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
The Citroen and a Forth Transit collided. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Now the Institute has called for drivers to look on improving driving skills as part of their lifelong personal development.

Figures from the Department of Transport show that last year driver or rider error or reaction were cited as contributory factors in 74 per cent of accidents, involving more than 117,000 casualties.

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Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “People often blame their car, the road, or the other driver for 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.

“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.”

He added: “It is not enough to leave people to their own devices once they have passed their test. Like so many other areas of life extra coaching pays dividends – and for a driver or rider, that means keeping their skills fresh by continuous assessment.”

Vehicle defects were named as a cause of an accident in just two per cent of incidents, while driver behaviour or inexperience was blamed in more than 40,000 accidents, and “injudicious action” was cited as contributing to a quarter of all accidents. Impairment or distraction and the road environment were also named identified as factor in accidents.

Now the IAM is offering free taster sessions for advanced training with more information available at

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