According to the Department for Transport’s recently released figures for road casualties for the year ending June 2015, there has been a 2% fall in road deaths even though there was a 2.3% increase in road traffic compared with the year ending June 2014.
Other headline figures include a 7% fall in total road casualties (of all severities) from 193,615 to 180,500; a 7% fall in the total number of those killed or seriously injured from 24,562 to 22,830; and a 2.4% drop in the total number of people killed from 1,742 to 1,700.
The breakdown of the figures also revealed that the decrease in the number of killed and seriously injured casualties was also relatively evenly spread across road users, with motorcyclists falling by 5%, cyclists by 6%, car users 8% and pedestrians by 9%. Child casualties also showed a decrease of 10% of deaths and serious injuries and 9% of all severities.
But the statistics do reveal a continuing discrepancy between major and minor roads, with the number of fatal accidents on minor roads increasing by 2%, albeit against a background of a 6% drop in the total killed or seriously injured. Of greater concern is a 7% increase of fatal accidents on non-built-up roads for the quarter from April 2015 to June 2015 compared to the same quarter in 2014.
William Broadbent of Penningtons Manches’ personal injury and clinical negligence team commented: “It is good to see a drop almost across the board in the number of people injured on Great Britain’s roads and credit must be given to the continued promotion of road safety by the Government and charities such as Brake and Road Safety GB.
“But the difficulty with these figures is identifying whether this is genuinely a continuation of the general downward trend of recent years or whether, as the figures are now relatively low, what we are seeing is normal variation and that the figures are, in fact, starting to plateau.
“There must be continuing efforts to reduce the figures and we must not become complacent in our pursuit of the safest roads possible.”