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What do the latest UK road casualty statistics really tell us?

At Clearview Traffic, we were pleased to see a decrease in road fatalities according to the release of 2012 Road Casualty Statistics for Great Britain equating to 147 fewer lives being lost – but what do the statistics really tell us about road safety in the UK last year?

road safety

According to the report published last Thursday, during 2012 there were 1,754 fatalities as compared to 1,901 in 2011 – this still adds up to nearly five deaths per day, or 146 people every month, on Britain’s roads.

Looking more closely at the figures, we noticed that a number of key areas that are bucking the overall downward trend:

  • The number of serious injuries and fatalities in 20mph zones increased by 20% – is this due to an increase in 30mph zones being re-designated as 20mph zones? A lack of driver education in these zones? A reduction in street lighting?
  • A 10% increase in cyclist fatalities, with biggest rise in children and young people – are these vulnerable road users more at risk? An increased uptake of cycling as a result of British cycling success in the Olympic Games?
  • A 29% increase in deaths of car occupants aged 0-15 in 2012 – were children not properly buckled with seat belts? Were parents more easily distracted?
  • A 57% increase in fatalities of bus and coach occupants – was this down to a major single incident involving a bus or coach? What proportion of road traffic are represented by buses and coaches? Is it a safer or more hazardous form of road transport?

The report that follows these headline statistics in September should provide greater context to the figures, and enable us to look at causes and effects.

In previous years, for example, night-time road accidents have represented a disproportionately large amount of accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. Clearly, more needs to be done to prevent accidents at both local and national levels.

The additional funding outlined in the recent spending review provides hope for the future, but it needs to be tackled now.

The 2011 ‘Simple Measures Save Lives’ report from the Road Safety Foundation outlines simple steps, including better delineation from products such as our innovativeSolarLite active LED road studs.

You can see our short video samples of these products in use here.
If you’d like more information on any of our road safety innovations or how our award-winning road safety schemes could improve your most hazardous roads, please contact us here.

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