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How driver behaviour impacts safety – AA Yellow Paper

Put simply, every behaviour, emotion, physical symptom, and reaction we have as humans has the potential to negatively impact on our safety when driving. There isn’t a single factor responsible for road collisions. In fact, it’s often a combination of influences.

When you delve into the 2022 road collision data (Department for Transport), the top cause of collisions is errors or incorrect reactions from drivers, accounting for 13.2% of all incidents. Second, is driver or rider failure to look properly, in the case of 7.2% of incidents. A significant proportion of these cases could be attributed to distraction.

Using a mobile phone at the wheel it is still a common occurrence seen by 93% of drivers according to The AA Charitable Trust, despite December 2023 being the 20th anniversary of the ban on the use of hand-held mobile phones in vehicles. Coming in at third place, is driver behaviour or inexperience, responsible for 5.3% of collisions. We know that inexperience leads to more collisions. It takes time for drivers to
develop situational awareness, get better at anticipating hazards and build up the right kind of confidence on the road. This is very clearly demonstrated in the statistics. In 2022, around a fifth of all killed or seriously injured casualties from car collisions involved a young car driver.

Young male drivers aged 17 to 24 are four times as likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with all car drivers aged 25 or over. Furthermore, research from the AA Charitable Trust, shows almost 69% of fatal car crashes for young drivers take place on rural roads. This shows the importance of education when it comes to young drivers, and this should be a key area of risk management for companies with younger drivers.


Read the full AA Yellow Paper here: AABS_DT YP_June 2024