Road safety

IAM RoadSmart, a charity dedicated to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads, is involved in lobbying for improvements in road safety standards and leading the road safety debate with central government and within the motoring community. IAM RoadSmart is an advocate for lifelong personal development of driving and riding skills.

Road Safety infographic

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IAM RoadSmart analyses multiple issues and viewpoints when considering ways to improve road safety, not least those of it 90,000 members. Human factors are one of these – how the driver (or rider) interacts with the journey, the vehicle and the external world – as highlighted by the 2016 government report on road casualties: “All accidents have a cause and that cause is often someone making a mistake or exhibiting dangerous or thoughtless road behaviour”.

The 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Culture Index, a study of UK motorists’ attitudes towards driving. The report highlighted that the main areas of concern amongst motorists (who took part in the survey), included: Using a mobile phone whilst driving, aggressive driving and drug driving.

IAM RoadSmart Human Factors


Distracted driving or riding occurs once attention is removed from activities required for the safe driving or riding

Drink driving

You could be imprisoned, banned and fined if you're found guilty of drink driving


Read more about why exceeding the speed limit is dangerous for the drivers and riders as well as other road users

Mature drivers

The number of mature (older) drivers have been steadily increasing on UK roads, with over 4 million aged 70 or over

Inexperienced drivers

Read about why inexperienced drivers are at higher risk of accidents, with road crashes a big killer of young people

Driving for work

An estimated 86% of fleets experienced an accident during 2014/15

Weather conditions

Snow, sleet, rain and fog have been cited as contributory factors for road accidents in 2014.

Drug driving

Taking drugs can impair reactions, alter judgement, and slow decision making, the penalty is the same as drink driving.


Motorcyclists account for disproportionately more casualties than would be expected given the distance they travel.

Whilst the UK has seen massive reductions in the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads over the decades, that figure has plateaued at  just over 1,700 in recent years (reported road fatalities were 1,792 in 2016, 1,732 in 2015, 1,775 in 2014 and 1,713 in 2013. Reported serious injuries were 24,101 in 2016, 22,137 in 2015, 22,801 in 2014 and 21,657 in 2013).

Added to this, we are less than two decades away from driverless cars becoming popular on our roads. An important area of consideration is how driverless cars will exist on the roads alongside conventionally driven vehicles. What is certain is that the debate will not disappear as technology plays a bigger role in our motoring lives, and IAM RoadSmart will continue to play a central role in it.

IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “Five years of flat lining road deaths is unacceptable. The huge gains in road safety made in the past now seem a distant memory. The government must show more leadership to really drive down road deaths in the future.”

Road safety statistics

Read more information on road safety statistics for the UK

Department for Transport 2016

Report into 2016 Road Casualties in Great Britain, published September 2017

UK Councillors' opinions on road safety

A 2013 IAM RoadSmart survey on councillors' opinions on road safety priorities



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