What is the main factor causing accidents?

As the reasons for road traffic collisions have been better understood, the term “accident” is avoided by some organisations, as the word “accident” can suggest an unpredictable, unpreventable event.  However, although crashes are rare in terms of the number of vehicles and drivers on the road, the impact of a death is phenomenal and wide ranging.  Now – addressing the contributing factors can help us to reduce the likelihood of collisions.  That is why these organisations prefer the term “crash” or some other term and then ask questions about what caused it.  Almost all crashes have a cause which can be described.  The earliest study (using British & American data), and one which is still quoted often, is a 1985 work by Lum & Reagan {1} indicating that 57% of crashes were due solely to driver factors, 27% to combined roadway and driver factors, 6% to combined vehicle and driver factors, 3% solely to roadway factors, 3% to combined roadway, driver, and vehicle factors, 2% solely to vehicle factors and 1% to combined roadway and vehicle factors.  So this amounts to a staggering 93% of crashes which have a driver factor involved in the cause.   If you want to see what you can do to help prevent crashes, whether by colleagues at work or friends and family members – ask me.  I speak to groups about this and am next speaking at a 4 Networking meeting at St Albans on 3rd March entitled  “Keeping Death off the road”. 

[1] Harry Lum & Jerry A. Reagan (Winter 1995). Interactive Highway Safety Design Model: Accident Predictive Module. Public Roads Magazine

Comments are closed.