Road safety

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.

Road Safety infographic

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.

IAM RoadSmart Human Factors

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.”


Tachograph breaks cause nearly 1,700 road closures

Posted on 11/12/15 |
Tachograph breaks, the mandatory rest stops commercial operators must take when driving, were the cause of nearly 1,700 road closures in one year alone, according to newly released figures from IAM Drive & Survive.

According to the Road Haulage Association 85% of everything sold in the UK is carried by truck at some stage of the supply chain with this number set to increase as more retail purchases are made online in the run up to Christmas.

The numbers come from a Freedom of Information request to Highways England into why motorways and major A roads were closed in 2014. Tachograph breaks are one of the top 25 reasons for lane closures, with 1,669 incidents last year.

IAM Drive & Survive says one of the main causes of this problem is road infrastructure – insufficient numbers of laybys, a lack of services for commercial drivers and the impact of long distances of road works.  

It adds that drivers and their employers can play their part in ensuring their journeys are as smooth and safe as possible and that planning journeys in advance is key.

Researching routes with good facilities for drivers, looking up road closures and avoiding areas where traffic delays are common all help to avoid the need to stop in unsuitable locations.

Lesley Upham, IAM commercial director, said: “Designing the roads and facilities drivers need to operate safely is essential, but meeting this objective needs a long-term approach.

“Until then employers and drivers must remain aware of the challenges and plan their journeys accordingly. Radio road traffic reports and live traffic functions on satellite navigation systems have a role to play, but planning ahead and having an alternative route in mind is also essential.

“There is also a great responsibility on employers to limit the time-based pressure put on their drivers. Nothing will delay their operations as much as a serious incident and if an accident occurs procedures will be scrutinised.”

Other significant reasons for road closures include abnormal load (3,191) and vehicle shedding its load (6,648).

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