REVEALED: Bad drivers main cause of accidents in Wiltshire and Hampshire

Police Slow sign - crash RTA RTC accident (Mike Draper)

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 1:09pm 11th October 2018.

The driver or rider failing to looking properly contributed to 1,330 road crashes across both counties in 2017.

It's a case of don't blame the roads and don't blame the weather as new figures reveal there were 440 accidents in Wiltshire and 890 in Hampshire as a result of those at the wheel not taking enough notice of other road users.

The second most common cause for both counties was the driver or rider being careless and reckless, that occurred in 314 incidents in Wiltshire and 532 in Hampshire.

The figures are from Department for Transport data which lists contributory factors for accidents, as recorded by police.

There are 78 different factors for officers to choose from.

They can record more than one reason for an accident, which, for example, could be caused by bad driving, poor weather conditions, pedestrians stepping into the road, or a combination of all three.

Other common factors in Wiltshire were bad turns or manoeuvres, travelling too fast for the conditions and the driver losing control.

RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams, said:

"More people lose their lives and are injured on Britain’s roads in accidents caused by driver or rider error than for any other reason.

"Last year nearly two thirds of the fatalities on our roads were put down to mistakes. The two biggest driving errors that led to the most deaths and accidents were losing control of a vehicle and failing to look properly.

"Sadly, the picture doesn’t seem to be improving as these figures are fairly typical of recent years’ data. We need to better understand the root causes of accidents and therefore require more data – something a dedicated road accident investigation body could provide."

The figures also show 52 people lost their lives in Wiltshire and Hampshire last year and 870 were seriously injured.

Mr Williams added:

"While everyone makes mistakes while driving, motorists need to realise the potential consequences of losing focus on what is a complex and demanding task.

"There are, of course, plenty of accidents that are wholly avoidable and result from driver distractions or impairment such as drink, handheld mobile phone use and driver fatigue."

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