Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, is warning drivers to drive safely and stay alert on Cumbria’s roads after the biggest cause of accidents was revealed to be failing to look properly.
Between August 2020 and July 2021, 24.6% of road accidents in Cumbria were caused by motorists failing to look properly at junctions. Driving carelessly or ‘in a hurry’ was the second biggest cause at 15.9% and failing to judge another person’s speed or path took third place at 13.8%.
Data revealed that between August 2020 and July 2021, 40 people have died as a result of a road accident in Cumbria with a further 314 suffering from serious injuries and 758 experiencing slight injuries.
Over a third of drivers stopped by Police suspected of driving under the influence of drugs tested positive for narcotics, while just over 10% were found over the legal alcohol limit. Men accounted for over 73% of the casualties of road accidents with the highest age group being involved in accidents being 18 years old.
Speaking on these findings, PCC Peter McCall, said: “Many of us assume that most road accidents are a result of speeding, drink or drug driving etc. and although these factors do cause serious accidents, they are not the most common cause.
“Simply not paying enough attention when joining traffic is the most common so it really is important that we give the road and other drivers our upmost attention when behind the wheel.
“Forty families have had to face the devastation of losing a loved one – in some cases, multiple loved ones – and no family should ever have to deal with that heartbreak.
“This is far too high a number and we do need to work together so that no family ever has to receive that type of distressing news.
“It’s appalling that over a third of people tested for drugs tested positive and this is only the number that were caught. I want to make it really clear to anyone who thinks it is okay to take illegal drugs and then drive, such activity is selfish, anti-social and totally unacceptable, it is moreover illegal and I can assure you that the police will continue to pursue and prosecute anyone drives under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. There is never any excuse to place the lives of other road users at risk because of your selfish activity.
“I am urging all residents to remember to drive safely, legally and to the conditions of the road as we head in to winter – we all want to get home safe to our families so let’s work together to make sure this is the case.
“Report any dangerous driving to 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency.”
Inspector Steve Vickers from the forces Mobile Support Group said “Many accidents on our roads are preventable.
“As the statistics show the highest proportion of accidents have been due to the judgement of the driver failing to look properly, being in a hurry or miss judging another drivers speed.
“When you get behind the wheel you have a responsibility to keep yourselves and other road users safe, take your time and don’t take risks as it could cost someone their life.