Call for rethink of road safety measures

Brake is calling for a radical overhaul of road safety measures
Brake is calling for a radical overhaul of road safety measures

Absent-minded drivers are the most common cause of road accidents in Aberdeenshire, according to new figures.

Road safety charity Brake has called for a radical overhaul of measures to prevent “needless, preventable” deaths from dangerous driving.

Latest Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show drivers or riders failing to look properly contributed to 62 accidents in Aberdeenshire last year.

The figures, which report contributory factors for accidents as recorded by police, also show that 58 accidents were caused by drivers or riders being careless, reckless or in a hurry.

Officers can choose one or more reasons for any accident where at least one person suffers a slight injury in an incident with a vehicle.

Samuel Nahk, senior public affairs officer at Brake, said: “These figures clearly highlight that driver error is one of the main causes of crashes on our roads, all too often leading to death and serious injury. Yet every death and injury on our roads is a needless, preventable tragedy.

“We can mitigate the impact of driver error through a safe systems approach with safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds and safer road use, enabling people to move around in safe and healthy ways.

“Drivers can also reduce their chances of causing a crash by ensuring they stick well within the speed limit, take more time to look carefully at junctions, and giving the road their full attention at all times.”

Last year, eight people were killed and 121 seriously injured on Aberdeenshire’s roads.

This was in line with in 2017, when police recorded seven deaths and 122 serious injuries.

Overall casualties, which include slight injuries, rose from 346 to 347 over the period.

The DfT cautions against comparing trends from previous years, however, because of changes to the way some forces record the severity of road injuries.

A DfT spokeswoman said: “We are committed to ensuring our roads are safe for everyone and our comprehensive Road Safety Action Plan sets out more than 70 different measures to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roads.

“This includes steps to help children understand the dangers near roads and investing in a digital platform to share best practice around cutting road safety risks for older drivers.”