Road Safety News
 

Deaths fall despite rise in motor traffic

Thursday 5th November 2015

Despite an increase in traffic levels, the number of road deaths decreased between April and June 2015 compared to the corresponding period in 2014, and in the 12-months to June 2015.

Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: quarterly provisional estimates Q2 2015 shows that in the three month period, 400 people were killed in reported road accidents, a 7% decrease from the 428 deaths in the same quarter of 2014.

There was also a decline in the number of killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties. A total of 5,540 people were (KSI), down 11% from the same period in 2014 (6,233). Casualties of all severities fell by 12% to 42,320 while motor traffic levels increased by 2.9% over the same period.

The report also shows a similar trend for the statistics for the year ending in June 2015. There were 1,700 road deaths (down 2%), a total of 22,830 KSIs (down 7%) and 580 child KSIs (down 8%) while motor traffic levels rose by 2.3%.


‘Good news’

The IAM called the figures ‘good news’, while also highlighting that fatalities have increased on ‘non-built up roads’.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “It is indeed good news to see that in spite of an increase in volume of traffic the number of casualties has fallen by 7%. However, fatal accidents on non-built up roads has increased by 7%.

“Highways England has published a vision for zero deaths on trunk roads and we believe this commitment should be adopted by the government for the whole country.

“The DVSA has stated a desire to encourage lifelong learning in driver and rider training and we firmly believe that with the right framework in place, which recognises the issues faced by road users of different ages, this approach will form a vital part of ensuring that fewer lives are needlessly lost on UK roads.”


The DfT report states that the first two quarters of 2015 are lower for each casualty severity than the corresponding quarters in 2014. It predicts that if this trend is ‘not adversely offset’ in the second half of the year, there will be a fall in casualties in 2015 when final data is published in June 2016.

The report concluded that there has been a ‘statistically significant’ decrease in the number of people injured (but not killed) in road traffic accidents between the years ending June 2014 and 2015, suggesting that 'a number of factors' have combined to improve some aspects of safety on Britain’s roads.

 

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The view that we need to know the number of road accident incidents is absolutely correct. But the chance of getting that information on a national basis is nil because the police only record details of crashes involving injury or death. The collection of data from all police attended incidents would at a stroke make analysis of the national progress to a safer road environment more realistic and useful.
Malcolm Whitmore, Loughborough, Leics

Agree (3) | Disagree (5)
-2

I do not accept that single figure % changes in 3 month K and SI numbers a year apart can be statistically significant. And the problem with scientific trials is not only obtaining enough data but also finding people capable of understanding and analysing it competently.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (8) | Disagree (7)
+1

I agree with Hugh, we need to start obtaining good quality evidence so that we know what is working and what isn't. What we need is to make scientific trials standard practice throughout road safety.

Scientific trials are simple to implement, cost less than might be spent trying to produce estimates and, most importantly, they are the most accurate test. In fact, the only evidence that would be more reliable than a scientific trial, would be a larger scientific trial. Fewer deaths is great news but, if we knew why they reduced, we could start really making a difference.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (15) | Disagree (7)
+8

Like Hugh says, the number of collisions is a much better metric because deaths and injuries are solely the result of the Newtonian mechanics that come into play once the people involved can have no further effect on the proceedings. Just as you drop an egg onto a cushion and get a different result than if you drop it onto a hard floor, the act remains the same irrespective of the result. There is also the issue of the vast and complex post-crash intervention system that springs into action after any accident. The killed and seriously injured figures must as a matter of course reflect how effective that intervention system is in keeping people alive.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (11) | Disagree (2)
+9

Re the drop in fatalities from 2014 to 2015 - without knowing whether this was due to a corresponding decrease in actual collisions; no change or even an increase, we're none the wiser. If fewer collisions are happening across the board, that is the best news, but if KSIs are decreasing from the same number of collisions, that may reflect well perhaps on car manufacturers and the health service/emergency services post collision, but it doesn't mean unfortunately that there's any improvement in the motoring public's ability to avoid - or not - collisions in the first place!
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (11) | Disagree (1)
+10