North Somerset sees road traffic accidents on the rise

The number of driving charges in North Somerset has risen since 2013.Picture: Getty Images

The number of driving charges in North Somerset has risen since 2013.Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Motorists caught losing control of their vehicles, speeding and driving carelessly are adding to the rising number of road traffic accidents in North Somerset.

New figures reveal the number of people crashing after being distracted at the wheel has more than doubled in the past five years.

Since 2013, the number of people caught failing to look properly while driving has increased by more than 50 per cent, and the amount of motorists speeding in the region has doubled.

People who lost control of their vehicle went up by almost 40 per cent and the amount motorists charged with careless driving offences, such as tailgating and lane hogging, has increased by the same amount.

However, accidents due to drink-driving have decreased in number.

Driving examiner for IAM RoadSmart, Neil Bayliss, who teaches qualified road users in North Somerset, said: “I do not think it is a case of bad driving in the area – but more about people having a lack of awareness about the risks they are taking when using the roads.”

Driving and riding group IAM RoadSmart specialises in developing skills of motorists through advanced courses, business programmes and introductory sessions.

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He adds: “The biggest issues are drivers tailgating, speeding and overtaking other cars dangerously in North Somerset.

“As a rule when you are using the road, if you double the two-second gap to four from the car in front of you – the additional time then gets shared between you and the vehicle behind you, which is a much safer way to drive.

“It is all about limiting the amount of unnecessary risks drivers and riders are taking – and this also means anticipating, planning and avoiding mistakes made by other motorists travelling on the roads as well.”

The figures also reveal a rise in pedestrian accidents, with people caught crossing roads in a hurry in a careless or reckless way having more than doubled since 2013.

North Somerset’s Weston and Mendip Advanced Motorists charity offer advanced driving lessons to people in the area and offer tips and advice on how to become a safer road user.

For more information, visit or call 07020 934714.