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 its, 92,000 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.”
A survey by IAM RoadSmart has found that British car owners are a bunch of grumps with less than one-third of car owners having given their car a name.
The poll was carried out by the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity on its Facebook and Twitter channels – and the results revealed how unsentimental Brits are when it comes to their vehicles.
On Facebook in the space of 24 hours this week 703 people voted: some 469 people said their car did not have a name (67%), while 234 had given their car a moniker.
On Twitter 131 people voted. Some 69% said they had not given their car a name and 31% had.
Some names given to cars include a Hyundai i20 called Holly, a BMW called Brad, a Jeep called Dudley, a Volkswagen Beetle in yellow and black called Bumblebee and a Land Rover called Toby.
Other more individual choices include Gargamel (after the evil character in the Smurfs cartoon series), Black Dahlia, NATO Anti-Tank Vehicle (a Volvo 340!) and Dorcas (a Biblical character known for her good works).
One very affectionate account read: “Mr Bimble, our Metro – 23 years old, still bimbling along, and left everyone standing in the snow!”
Two people chose to call their cars KITT, after the talking Pontiac driven by Michael Knight (played by David Hasselhoff) in the 80’s TV series Knight Rider. One of these is a Tesla Model S.
The charity’s survey also showed the love/hate relationships people have with their vehicles.
One respondent said his car is given a name “only when it doesn’t start and then it gets called all sorts of names!”
Another said: “A car is a machine to get from one place to another, not a pet. No name for my wagon, cars or motorbike.”
Sarah Sillars, Chief Executive Officer of IAM RoadSmart, said: “People seemed to enjoy our survey, and while they clearly have a lot of affection for their vehicles, giving them a name seems to be a step too far for the majority. But even some of the very best drivers remain more than happy to buck the trend and give their car a name.”
Notes to editors:
Further information from:
IAM RoadSmart press office – 020 8996 9777 – firstname.lastname@example.org
ISDN broadcast lines available
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/IAMRoadSmart
On Twitter: @IAMRoadSmart
IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart’s Driver Retraining Academy visit www.iamdra.org.uk
To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit: https://wwwiamroadsmart.com/local-groups