Q2 casualty stats paint conflicting pictures

12.00 | 7 November 2013 | | 5 comments

Provisional statistics published by the DfT today (7 November) paint an encouraging ‘year on year’ picture, but a less positive outcome for Q2 2013.

The ‘year on year’ data shows that the number of people killed in reported road accidents in the year ending June 2013 fell by 3% compared with the corresponding 12-month period.

Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Quarterly Provisional Estimates Q2 2013 also shows that in the year to 30 June 2013 the number of people killed or seriously injured fell by 5%, and that the total number of reported road casualties fell by 7%. Total child casualties (ages 0-15) also fell by 12% and number of children killed or seriously injured was down 11% to 2,080.

The rolling yearly figures also show that the number of KSI casualties for the vulnerable groups of pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists also fell by 7%, 1% and 6% respectively.

However, a comparison of the figures for Q2 (April – June) 2012 and 2013 paints a different picture.

During Q2 2013, 450 people were killed in reported road accidents, 12% more than in Q2 2012. However, serious and slightly injured casualties fell by 3% and 8% respectively and this resulted in overall casualties falling by 7%.

However, during Q2 2013 casualties increased among motorcyclists (4%) and pedal cyclists (12%), and KSI casualties among these groups also increased by 8% and 4% respectively.

The DfT suggests that “these increases were at least partly due to the large change in weather conditions between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013”. Rainfall in Q2 2103 was 40% lower than the corresponding period in 2012.

The DfT suggests that “it is likely that the markedly drier weather in 2013 would have increased the number of vulnerable road users (particularly motorcyclists and pedal cyclists) on the road, relative to the same period in 2012, thus increasing their relative exposure to accidents”.

The provisional figures also show an increase of 3.4% in road traffic levels between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013.

Commenting on the figures, Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the IAM, said they “show the increasing risks for vulnerable cyclists and motorcyclists”.

Neil Greig added: “Spring and summer will always be the most dangerous months for those on two wheels but that must not be allowed to obscure the need to focus on their safety.

“Investment in segregated cycling facilities must keep pace with the rising demand for cycling. Road designs that help car drivers can often be fatal for motorcyclists so engineers must learn to ‘think bike’ when they build barriers, signposts and new surfaces.”


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    So what are we saying? That no matter what a professional road safety officer may put into being for the safety of the public on our highways it comes down to the two basics that are out of their control: 1) the better dry weather and 2) a subsequent increase in volumes of traffic.

    I hope not. If that is the case we might as well forget it.

    The economy took a down turn in 2008 so it’s not new. But we have had bad summers since then – the best has to be this year’s – and to my mind it is understandable that that will lead to more KSIs and other incidents involving anything on two wheels.

    bob craven lancs
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    What happened to being trendy and using 3 or more years data?

    Peter London
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    2Spring and summer…most dangerous months for those on two wheels” – yes in terms of casualties due to higher mileages. RISK, per mile, must be higher in dark and wet winters. The same explaines higher casualties in dry 2013 than in wet 2012. What part of the higher cycle casualties was due to more cycle miles?

    It is likely that the quite sudden turn-around in economic sentiment will lead to worsening KSI trends, over and above higher vehicle mileages. Nothing to do with road safety policies, instead “It’s the economy, stupid” to quote Bill Clinton

    Idris Francis Fight Back with Facts Petersfield
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    I disagree. We can’t be an ostrich and bury our heads in disbelief because we don’t like something. We will have to wait till the year end and see what transpires. I believe that it will show general increases as identified. I have to agree that weather pays an important part in two wheel vehicle incidents. No matter what inputs professionals have weather plays a part, clearly they should address this danger.

    I truly believe in the last paragraph and its been my belief that this has been true for a lot of years. Pity that with the new interest and promotion of cyclists that others are now just coming to that conclusion and cyclists will be much more vulnerable than motorcycles. After all cyclists basically receive no specific traffic training and many act like anarchists on the roads.

    bob craven Lancs
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    As it’s all to easy to confuse signal with noise, I wouldn’t trust these figures as far as I could throw them because there are far too many variables underlying the figures to make any valid judgement.

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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