The main cause of road accidents in Northumberland is revealed

Bad drivers cause most accidents in Northumberland.
Bad drivers cause most accidents in Northumberland.

Bad drivers and not the roads or weather are the main cause of accidents in Northumberland, figures have revealed.

The driver or rider failing to look properly contributed to 80 accidents last year.

The second most common cause was bad turns or manoeuvres, which occurred in 43 incidents in Northumberland.

The figures are from Department for Transport data which lists contributory factors – 78 to choose from – for accidents, as recorded by police.

And officers 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.

An accident is registered when at least one person suffers a slight injury in an incident with a vehicle.

The injury does not have to involve cars. It could be a bike colliding with a pedestrian, or someone falling over while cycling.

Other common factors in Northumberland were the driver or rider failing to judge another vehicle’s speed, the driver or rider being careless and reckless and slippery road due to bad weather.

Across the North East the most common reason was the driver not looking properly.

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 the number of road casualties in Northumberland.

There were 755 casualties in 2017, during which 12 people were killed and 157 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.”