Anecdotally I’ve seen a lot of drivers take risks in the past couple of months. Dangerous overtaking manoeuvres on roads that really aren’t set up for overtaking, drivers in a rush, and motorists throwing their weight around.

In general, it feels like drivers are becoming more aggressive. I have no tangible evidence for this, or the reasons why it’s happening, but it got me speculating that the performance of modern vehicles may be lulling drivers into a false sense of security.

Modern vehicles perform really well – they can brake more quickly, they handle better if you need to take evasive action and they are generally more responsive. They are also packed full of safety features ranging from airbags to intelligent braking which stops the vehicle from skidding.

So vehicles are getting better, and drivers don’t seem to be. The stats show that most accidents are caused by driver error or reaction and that’s really no surprise. There’s no doubt that the current crop of cars and vans make us safer. However, that’s no excuse to change your attitude to driving.

Despite improving accident rates, the latest figures from the Department for Transport show that 1,713 people were killed on the UK’s roads in 2013. There really is no room for complacency.   

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.