Fall in road accident deaths

Four percent fewer people were killed or injured on Britain’s roads in 2012 than in 2011, according to the latest Government statistics on road casualties. However, this still leaves a total of 195,723 people who were killed or injured in a road traffic accident.

The figures make for grim reading:

  • 1,754 people died as a result of a motor accident – down 8% on 2011 – and 23,039 were seriously injured.
  • the number of fatalities fell for all road user types except pedal cyclists (up from 107 in 2011 to 118 in 2012) and bus and coach occupants.
  • pedestrian fatalities fell by 7% (420), motorcycle fatalities fell by 9% (328), car occupant fatalities fell by 9%, and goods vehicle occupant fatalities remained the same as in 2011
  • provisional estimates for 2012 suggest that 280 people were killed in drink drive accidents, an increase of around 17% compared with 2011 and accounting for 16% of all road deaths in Great Britain.

According to Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the good news of a large drop in road deaths in 2012 is marred by the increase in cyclist deaths.

“We need to redouble our efforts to make sure that cyclist deaths and injuries are reduced as the popularity of cycling increases,” he said. “As well as boosting the provision of cyclist training and trying to make the roads safer for cyclists, we also need to hammer home the message to drivers to keep their speed down, watch out for cyclists and give them enough room on the road.”

Road safety charity Brake highlighted the drink drive figures as a cause for concern.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, warned;

“These deaths are cruel and needless, ending lives too soon and leaving behind traumatised and broken families to pick up the pieces. The evidence shows that tougher laws and greater enforcement would help prevent these casualties: we need the government to act urgently upon this.”

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