IAM RoadSmart, a charity dedicated to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads, is involved in lobbying for improvements in road safety standards and leading the road safety debate with central government and within the motoring community. IAM RoadSmart is an advocate for lifelong personal development of driving and riding skills.
IAM RoadSmart analyses multiple issues and viewpoints when considering ways to improve road safety, not least those of it 90,000 members. Human factors are one of these – how the driver (or rider) interacts with the journey, the vehicle and the external world – as highlighted by the 2016 government report on road casualties: “All accidents have a cause and that cause is often someone making a mistake or exhibiting dangerous or thoughtless road behaviour”.
The 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Culture Index, a study of UK motorists’ attitudes towards driving. The report highlighted that the main areas of concern amongst motorists (who took part in the survey), included: Using a mobile phone whilst driving, aggressive driving and drug driving.
Whilst the UK has seen massive reductions in the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads over the decades, that figure has plateaued at just over 1,700 in recent years (reported road fatalities were 1,792 in 2016, 1,732 in 2015, 1,775 in 2014 and 1,713 in 2013. Reported serious injuries were 24,101 in 2016, 22,137 in 2015, 22,801 in 2014 and 21,657 in 2013).
Added to this, we are less than two decades away from driverless cars becoming popular on our roads. An important area of consideration is how driverless cars will exist on the roads alongside conventionally driven vehicles. What is certain is that the debate will not disappear as technology plays a bigger role in our motoring lives, and IAM RoadSmart will continue to play a central role in it.
IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “Five years of flat lining road deaths is unacceptable. The huge gains in road safety made in the past now seem a distant memory. The government must show more leadership to really drive down road deaths in the future.”
As part of the #wheelsinwinter campaign, the IAM will be introducing a new animated video featuring Al the Alien (2) on its social media platforms. The animation will be used as a visual aid to help novice drivers gain familiarity with a number of hazardous situations faced on winter roads.
Other contributory factors to road accidents in 2014 include (3):
- Snow, sleet, rain or fog – caused 368 fatal or serious accidents
- Slippery roads – caused 1,279 fatal or serious accidents
Sarah Sillars, chief executive officer at the IAM, said: “It is clear from the statistics that people need to change their driving behaviour when faced with poor weather conditions and more hours of darkness.
“Winter driving needn’t be difficult, and with a few small changes driving in bad weather conditions can be made far safer and more enjoyable. We advise motorists to avoid travelling in severe weather conditions – could you delay that visit to the shops or walk to school instead? But if you do need to travel, prepare properly and read our advice to ensure you and your loved ones are safe.”