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Students completing our HGV training in Denbighshire, or anywhere in the UK for that matter, are thoroughly versed in the importance of being cautious on the road. There are many good reasons for taking a cautious approach, not the least of which is avoiding a crash due to carelessness. It turns out that caution is not something exercised by every driver. How do we know? Because the most common cause of road crashes in the UK is failing to look properly.

Statistics from the Department for Transport indicate that failing to look properly is a contributing factor in 30,000 crashes every year. That is an astounding number that bears further investigation. Police officers filling out accident reports can choose from among 77 contributing factors that they then rank according to how those factors influenced the crash being investigated.

According to an IAM analysis of the government numbers, failure to look properly combines with a few additional factors on police reports as follows:

Failure to look properly, failure to judge another vehicle’s speed or path, and carelessness/recklessness/being in a hurry cover more than 30,000 accidents in their various combinations every year. Other factors listed in the top 20 include poor weather conditions and slippery roads.

Human Error Is Big

Breaking down all the data would require more space than we have in such a short blog post. To make a long story short, the IAM data analysis clearly shows that human error is a big factor in road crashes. Indeed, it is the most significant factor of all. Human beings are imperfect creatures capable of making mistakes even under the best of conditions. This is why it is so important to emphasise caution behind the wheel.

Something as simple as taking a few extra seconds to look in all directions a second time can be critical. We have all heard stories of accidents caused by other drivers who ‘came out of nowhere’ after another driver had looked both ways. Taking a second look could mean the difference between avoiding a crash and being part of one. It only takes a few seconds.

The HGV Training Centre promotes a number of different ways to be cautious in our training programmes. In addition to taking extra time to look, we also cover things such as controlling speed, proper use of lanes, proper braking techniques, compensating for weather conditions, practicing common courtesy, and so on.

As a leading provider of HGV training in Denbighshire and across the UK, we believe well-trained drivers with a mind for caution are the safest drivers on the road. We also believe that safety is the professional driver’s first responsibility to him/herself, his/her employer, and the public. Caution is a big part of that. We encourage professional drivers throughout the UK to take their time and be safe.


  1. Fleet News UK – https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/latest-fleet-news/2015/07/07/more-than-30-000-road-accidents-a-year-caused-by-drivers-failing-to-look-properly


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