RAC Cars News


Are You One Of Britain's Safest Drivers?

By raccars Published

Certain groups – young men, white van men, the elderly – receive a bad press in terms of driving ability or road manners, but some of the following may surprise you.

More than 1.5 million people go through a practical driving test every year in Britain. The highest pass rate is among young men and the lowest pass rate is among older women. Statistically, the safest drivers, in terms of accident culpability, are aged between 30-60. In the first year of driving after passing their test, 23% of drivers under the age of 20 are involved in at least one accident.

Believe it or not, there are still 122 drivers on UK roads over the age of 100. The oldest is believed to be a woman aged 106. Based upon the rate of casualties per 100,000 driving licences, an 18 year old driver is twice as likely to be at fault in an accident as a driver in their thirties, three times as risky as a driver in their forties and six times as risky as a driver in their sixties. After that, the risks start to rebalance.

Nearly three-quarters of accidents can be blamed on the simplest of mistakes. Not reading the road properly, poor judgement of other drivers' speed and overshot junctions are the most common causes of crashes.

The driver's age or experience is not the only risk factor. Would you believe that 50% of all accidents happen on a tiny 10% of Britain's roads? The ten riskiest roads in Britain are all rural, A roads and are fairly evenly spread between North and South, around the edges of the country.

The usual suspects in any accident are drinking and speeding. Despite extensive public education programmes and changing attitudes to drinking and driving, in 2009 there were more than 8,000 accidents reported, where drinking and driving was a factor.

In 2010, there were 6,000 accidents where driving over the speed limit was a factor. In the same year, 10,000 accidents happened where the driver was within the legal speed limit but was driving too fast for the conditions at the time. In 4 out of 5 speeding related accidents, a male driver was at fault and more than twice as many young men as young women are caught by speed cameras. Drivers of hatchbacks, sports cars and older vehicles are most at fault, with family car, saloon and 4x4 drivers being more sensible.

On the other hand, 143 accidents every year can be blamed upon driving too slowly for the conditions.

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