16 May 2009.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

ABD Joins RAC Foundation Demand for Proper Crash Investigation
Dr Chris Elliott FREng, of The RAC Foundation, called yesterday for full investigation of serious crashes to establish ways of preventing repeat occurence rather than the current practice of investigating mainly to establish blame. He also urged restraint on closing motorways following collisions as this often causes further accidents. 1
The ABD have long campaigned for exactly this approach, and have instigated a reprint of Road Accidents — Prevent or Punish? by the late J J Leeming, which is available to buy via our website. 2
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
“We are pleased to see the RAC Foundation saying what the ABD has been saying for many years. Every accident has multiple causation factors and often all parties involved could have done something to prevent the crash even when not strictly blameworthy. Whilst punishing those at fault is sometimes justified, it is far more important to investigate all factors to establish what can be done to prevent similar accidents in future.”
For example 'rear enders' are a common cause of death or serious injury. Of course the blame nearly always falls quite rightly on the driver of the following vehicle. However, ensuring free flow of traffic and preventing hold ups (as we have frequently called for 3) could be very effective in reducing such crashes. There are also many things that drivers can do to avoid being rear ended including good positioning to make themselves visible, keeping an eye in the mirror, leaving a large gap in front, staying in gear whilst planning an escape route and using brake lights and/or hazard flashers. An education campaign (as we suggested in 2005 4) could have prevented many such crashes yet current government advice is to put the handbrake on and turn the engine off to save the planet!
ABD chairman Brian Gregory said:
“The current solution to any accident seems to be to reduce the speed limit and put up a camera. This has failed, not least because it has led to secrecy about the reality of accident causation, because the facts must be twisted to support the bad policy. Last week we called for publication of all causation factors for child fatalities, no doubt that will fall on deaf ears as will the RAC Foundation's excellent suggestions. The scandal of the government's dismal failure on road deaths will continue.”

1. RAC Foundation
2. Buy J J Leeming's book
3. PR 470
4. PR592
Notes for Editors about the ABD