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.”