Road collisions were responsible for one in five trauma centre admissions in 2016, according to new figures obtained by Brake.
Published today to mark the start of Road Safety Week 2017 (20-26 Nov), the data shows that 11,486 road users – the equivalent of 31 a day – were admitted to trauma centres in England and Wales with life-threatening injuries in 2016.
The figure means that road collisions were the second largest cause of trauma admissions, after ‘falls from less than two metres’.
Brake is calling for a range of measures – including a default 20mph limit in all built-up areas, increased enforcement and Intelligent Speed Adaptation – to counter excessive speed which it describes as ‘a major problem’.
The data comes from analysis carried out by the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN), which records information about patients admitted to trauma centres.
The regions with the highest proportion of road collision trauma patients were the Thames Valley (25%), North West London (23%), the West Midlands (23%), the East Midlands (22%) and Eastern England (22%).
Further analysis of data from 75,820 road crash victims admitted to trauma centres during the last decade reveals that young people (16-25 year-olds) are the most affected age group, accounting for more than one in five (21%) road traffic trauma admissions.
5,657 children aged under 16 years made up 7% of all admissions in the same period, with almost a third (32%) of these suffering serious head injury.
Children also comprise the biggest age group for pedestrian casualties, accounting for nearly one in six (17%) trauma admissions.
Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “Not only do needless road collisions cause untold suffering but they also place an enormous strain on the NHS and other public services.
“Speeding is a factor in many deadly crashes and remains a major problem. Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead, such as a child stepping out from between parked cars, it’s a driver’s speed that determines whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t, how hard they will hit.
“That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to ‘Speed Down Save Lives’ for Road Safety Week this year.
"Brake is also calling for a default 20mph limit in all built-up areas, increased enforcement and ‘Intelligent Speed Adaptation’, which helps drivers stay within the limit, to be fitted as standard to new vehicles.”
Category: General news.