Report examines ‘things that go bump in the night’

12.00 | 28 November 2014 | | 5 comments

A new report, launched earlier this week at the 2014 National Road Safety Conference, looks in detail at the ‘emerging issue’ of the number of adult pedestrian casualties which occur during night-time hours.

The research, carried out by Road Safety Analysis on behalf of Road Safety GB, analyses the 30,000 adult pedestrians who were injured in road collisions between 6.00pm and 6.00am during the period 2009-2013.

While there has been a 48% reduction in the number of child pedestrian injuries in the last 10 years, at 22% the progress in reducing the number of adult pedestrians has been much slower – and as a proportion of all casualties, the number of adults injured while walking continues to rise year on year.

The analysis found that males are at greater risk of being injured as a pedestrian at night; that casualties often come from similar types of community (often areas of deprivation); and that their actions often contributed to the collision through alcohol impairment, wearing dark clothing and/or dangerous actions in the carriageway.

The report also found that adult pedestrians are most at risk at weekends, between 6pm and 11pm, and when they are in the 16-34 years age range.

Geographically, London, Wales, Scotland and the North-East of England are hotspots for adult pedestrian collisions.

Richard Owen (pictured above), director of Road Safety Analysis, said: “Developing effective education campaigns that will work with this group of people will prove difficult due to low perceptions of risk, message retention and impairment.

“Engineering through lower speeds and separation offer the best opportunity to reduce risk and exposure, and appropriate measures should be considered wherever the night time economy has its greatest presence.”

Honor Byford, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “This research shines a light on what is occurring with adult pedestrians, especially at night-time, and can be used as a starting point for developing evidence-led interventions for drivers and pedestrians alike.

“As Road Safety GB promotes the best use of data and analysis to inform interventions, we are pleased to present this report to our members and the wider road safety community.”


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    So we now all have to increase our journey times all day, every day, 365 days a year, as Britain’s towns are downgraded to 20mph to protect these people that have no interest for their own safety!

    Terry Hudson, Kent
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    Blame the taxi driver. Typical, not the guy who fell drunk in front of my car, so drunk that never realised he’d been inches from death. Or the pleasant people who abuse u for doing your job. Easy target.

    John Tonbridge
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    Is it just me or what? Just recently ie over the last 12 months there have been a number of programmes highlighting this problem on TVC involving the police and ambulance services. Drunkenness in the streets and at night time. So it has been identified by the media as a social problem and a road safety one on a number of occasions in the recent past.

    It’s been going on for decades. We used to lock up drunk and incapable persons or assist them home or take action against the landlord for serving or suffering drunken persons on his licences premises. Unfortunately all that has gone by the board with a politically led change in legislation which allows 24 hour drinking and a more liberal attitude now prevails. Will the politicians change to law or admit it was a mistake. No they won’t. So What is the answer? Someone has to pick up the pieces.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    Can I suggest a campaign targeting taxi drivers? The report does highlight their involvement in ped accidents at night; they are in abundance on the roads at night in built-up areas; they tend to be ‘in a hurry’; they’re easily identifiable for education/enforcement purposes; they usually have a base/head-office where they can be found and engaged with. Much better when you know where and when your target audience can be found.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Once again, another great report from RSA, well worth an in-depth read. This is an issue that we identified in the North East a few years ago (with RSGB North East running a campaign on adult pedestrian safety last year), so it is good to see that the subject of adult pedestrian night-time road safety is rightly getting more attention at a national level.

    Peter Slater, North East Regional Road Safety Resource
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