Motorhome insurance providers are backing a campaign launched by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IOM) warning drivers of what the charity describes as SMIDSY (Sorry mate I didn’t see you) accidents.
It is the sort of accident that has happened to a great many motorists, cyclists and other road users, and motorhome owners, along with commercial vehicle drivers, can often find it difficult to see motorbikes and cycles that are tucked in close to the kerb side. However, the IOM believe most accidents of this kind happen when drivers lose their concentration, and once again, drivers who are travelling long distances, such as motorhome owners, can easily have lapses of concentration.
In a survey of accidents that have taken place over the last 6 months IOM discovered that 29% of serious accidents and 36% of minor accidents had a common contributing factor, the driver of one of the vehicles had failed to look before completing a manoeuvre. It is not just a few motorists that are guilty of this, it is thousands. And it is not something limited to the long stretches of road on featureless motorways; over 40% of the accidents took place in 30 mph zones. With over half of the motorists questioned confirming that they had been “cut up” by another driver in the same six month period it is obvious lack of concentration is becoming a big problem.
IOM advocate a set of measures that will improve the driving of any motorhome owner but in truth all of the tips can be found in the Highway Code. They include: giving extra space when passing cyclists and motor cyclists. Surfaces on the kerb side of the road often have hazards such as potholes and drains that those on two wheels must avoid; giving them extra room will help. They also remind drivers to check their mirrors before opening their driver door when parked up on a street and of course to check their mirror before completing any manoeuvre. The charity believes that drivers should take responsibility for their own safety by always driving defensively and if everyone adopts the same attitude then accident rates will be cut.