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GPs are still Britain’s worst drivers

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
01/02/2017
GPs have been crowned Britain's most accident prone drivers for the fourth year in a row. 

They are the most likely of any occupation to claim on their car insurance, according to research from Gocompare.com Car Insurance.

More than one in 10 (13%) GPs have made at least one at-fault claim in the past five years, more than double the national average across all occupations.

People working in the health and medical industry – such as hospital consultants, doctors and dentists – dominated the top 10 professions with the highest proportion of claims on their car insurance.

Those working in the insurance industry also have higher claims, with insurance consultants (10.18%), insurance representatives (9.42%) and claims adjustors (9.39% all appearing in the top 20.

The national average across all occupations was 6%.

Surprisingly, health and safety executives just scrape in above the average with 6.83%. Occupations that are least likely to make a claim are car dealers (2.05%), abattoir workers (2.36%) and car wash attendants (2.41%).

‘Raised degree of cognitive load’

Dr Craig Knight, director of Haddleton Knight which looks at the psychology of working environments, said jobs in the health sector could have higher accident rates because the roles carry a “significantly raised degree of cognitive load”.

Knight explains this is “making decisions that will affect somebody’s chances of sustained well-being or survival which can lead to distracting thoughts whilst driving”.

“Secondly, almost all of the professions in the top 10 are working with clients who themselves are typically stressed, adding to the demanding nature of their job. Stress has a level of contagion which doesn’t help with concentration.”

He said the third point is that health professionals often complete short hop journeys, usually in sub/urban areas where most accidents happen: “Either that or they are driving into hospital car parks, which are notorious accident black spots.”

Matt Oliver of Gocompare.com, said: “While it’s ironic that those best placed to deal with accidents in the car make up the majority of our top 10, this study highlights the importance of concentration while driving.

“Driving while stressed, tired or frustrated can lead to accidents. As well as putting yourself and others in danger, if it’s deemed that you were at fault for an accident due to negligence, it can affect your car insurance.”

Oliver said at-fault accidents tend to affect car insurance premiums more than other claims as insurers will deem the driver as higher risk.

“Drivers with an at-fault claim could see their premiums rise as much as £70. However, how much premiums go up could depend on the severity of the claim,” he said.

Top 10 professions with highest proportion of claims on their car insurance

1 General Practitioner 12.58%
2 Hospital Consultant 12.05%
3 Outreach Worker 11.05%
4 Hospital Doctor 10.46%
5 Surgeon 10.41%
6 Health Visitor 10.37%
7 Insurance Consultant 10.18%
8 Psychotherapist 10.07%
9 Dental Surgeon 9.93%
10 Psychologist 9.76%

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