Fleet News

Casualty figures show need for drivers to improve skills

Britain's road casualty figures released today show the need for drivers to take refresher training and not just rely on the skills they picked up when they passed their test, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Department for Transport figures show failing to look properly was a contributory factor in 35% of accidents and four of the six most frequently reported contributory factors involved driver or rider error or reaction.

Loss of control was involved in 35% of fatal accidents.

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA head of road safety, said: "These are things that refresher training can help motorists to overcome. Even when a crash was not directly a driver's fault, better skills behind the wheel may have helped to avoid the accident."

Last year the number of people killed in road accidents fell by one per cent to 3,172. There were 31,845 killed or seriously injured, down one per cent, and the total road casualty figure was down five per cent to 258,404.

But there were big increases in deaths among child pedestrians (up 13%) and child pedal cyclists (up 55%), as well a five per cent jump in motorcycle fatalities. There were 540 deaths linked to drink driving.

Mr Clinton said. "For most drivers, the only formal training they take is that needed to pass their test. But in the following years they may well develop bad habits without even realising their weaknesses.

"More training can benefit everyone, helping people to enjoy their driving more while making them safer on the road. It can range from quick and easy lessons that focus on specific skills to longer courses leading to full advanced driving tests."

With support from the Department for Transport, the Society has produced a Promoting Refresher Driver Training Toolkit to help groups offering training to publicise the benefits.

Website: www.rospa.com/roadsafety/refreshertoolkit.

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