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Never mind the handwriting: GPs are also Britain’s most accident prone drivers

11 July 2016

GP’s twice as likely to make an at-fault claim than other occupations

General practitioners (GPs) are the most likely to have an at-fault accident in their car according to a new study from Gocompare.com Car Insurance.*

The study found more than one in 10 (13%) of GPs had made at least one at-fault claim in the past three years; more than double the national average across all occupations (6%).

Research revealed that health and medical professionals were more likely to have an at-fault accident on the road than drivers with other occupations. Those working in the medical profession made up all of the top 10 drivers with the highest proportion of at-fault claims.

Occupations with the highest proportion of at-fault claims

 



Occupation

Proportion of drivers who have had an at-fault accident in the last three years

1

General practitioner

12.98%

2

Hospital consultant

12.65%

3

Chiropodist

12.00%

4

Surgeon

11.13%

5=

Psychologist

10.73%

6

Hospital doctor

10.66%

7=

Dietician

10.60%

7=

Optometrist

10.60%

9

Drug addiction counsellor

10.49%

10=

District nurse

10.46%

10=

Midwife

10.46%



Other occupations with higher claims than the national average include; police officer (7.83%), journalist (8.38%), barrister (8.96%), baggage handler (9.11%) and ministers of religion (8.37%).

Those working in insurance also tended to have more claims than other occupations. On average nearly one in 10 (8.91%) of drivers working in insurance-based professions had made an at-fault claim.

Statistically, the best drivers in the UK are abattoir workers, with just one in 100 (1.39%) of workers having an at-fault claim. Other occupations with a lower proportion of claims than the national average include; van driver (4.24%), construction worker (3.49%), courier (4.70%) scaffolder (4.31%), milkman (4.685) and footballers (5.44%).

Commenting on the study, Professor Andrew Smith, expert on occupational and health psychology from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, said: “The medical profession is typically regarded as highly stressful and stress can have a dramatic effect on people’s cognitive functions and overall health.

“When people experience particularly high stress levels, it’s common for them to become especially clumsy or absent minded as they struggle to concentrate on tasks. While the symptoms of stress can be a serious thing in any context, it can be a potentially dangerous when behind the wheel.

“It’s likely that the high levels of stress in a medical practitioner’s day, combined with long hours could play a significant part in the high proportion of at-fault car insurance claims they have.  However, the types of accidents usually attributed to stress tend be relatively minor bumps, caused by brief lapses in concentration whilst driving, so while GPs may rack up the highest number of claims, they may not have the most serious accidents.”

Matt Oliver, car insurance spokesperson at Gocompare.com, said: “While medical professionals may be the best placed occupation to handle an injury suffered while in the car, our research shines a light on how important it is to be focused while driving.

“Not only can driving while distracted lead to an accident, it could also have insurance implications or worse, criminal prosecution if it is deemed you caused an accident due to negligence when behind the wheel.”

To help in the event of an accident, Gocompare.com has created a free, print-out-and-keep traffic accident checklist for drivers.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

*Based on actual car insurance quotes conducted on Gocompare.com between January 1st – December 31st 2015.