Everyday in the UK 6 people are killed in motor vehicle collisions, 68 people are left with serious injuries and a further 535 people are left with minor injuries.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has analysed police data on 700,000 road traffic collisions from 2005 to 2009, in a bid to determine why these accidents occur.

The study concluded that the most common cause of road accidents in the UK is ‘driver error or reaction’. Driver error or reaction which includes failing to look properly, losing control of the vehicle, failing to judge another driver’s path or speed and carrying out poor manoeuvres amounted to more than 65% of fatal road collisions.

The statistics reveal the second most common accident cause - 31% of fatal road collisions - is ‘injudicious action’ which includes exceeding the speed limit, travelling too fast for the conditions and disobeying give-way or stop signs.

‘Behaviour or inexperience’ was the third main category of accident and caused 28% of road accident fatalities. Those who drove carelessly, recklessly or in a hurry, aggressive driving and a learner or inexperienced driver all came within this category.

‘Impairment or distraction’ accounted for 19.6% of fatal road accidents, this included driving under the influence of alcohol and distractions within the vehicle.

Although the study identified several other accident factors such as slippery roads, vehicle defects and vision affected by the sun or scratched windscreens, they amounted to only a fairly small percentage of the total accidents.

Gender and age divided drivers with men often being more careless, reckless or in a hurry and women more likely to be inexperienced. Older driver’s were found to often fail to look properly, whilst younger drivers regularly travel too fast.