The Department for Transport has recently released its initial road casualty estimates for the third quarter of 2012. Tiger.co.uk, one of the UK’s most popular websites for cheap car insurance quotes
, has analysed and commented on the report, highlighting some of the positive improvements in road casualty figures but also some more worrying trends.
There were just under 200,000 reported road casualties for the 12 months between September 2011 and September 2012 which was 3% less than the year before. During this same period there were 1,760 fatalities, which was a 7% drop on the year before. While these declines appear to be good news, the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) increased by 2% to around 25,000.
The number of fatal accidents on major roads like motorways fell by 9% and the number of fatal and serious accidents fell by 2%. Minor roads, however, saw a worrying 5% rise in fatal and serious accidents. This was all against a backdrop of a 0.2 % increase in total traffic.
The report’s study of recent trends for the more vulnerable groups of road users shows a different picture dependent upon whether the focus is on total casualties or just KSI incidence. KSI numbers recorded amongst motorcyclists dropped by 2%, but pedestrian and pedal cyclist KSI numbers grew by 6% and 7% respectively when compared with the previous year. When comparing the number of casualties overall, which also includes minor injuries, the report produces a different picture. Total pedestrian casualties actually fell by 3% but all motorcycle casualties rose by 1%.
These trends in more serious accident rates have alarmed a number of road safety charities. The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has called for changes to the driving test to make drivers more aware of vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians; for improved infrastructure for cyclists, including more segregated cycle paths; and for the government to commit to reinstating the funding for road safety campaigns and education.
Commenting on the Department for Transport report, Andrew Goulborn, Tiger.co.uk’s Commercial Director, said: “It is nice to see a drop in casualties but a rise in KSI numbers is a cause for concern. It seems that more does need to done to make sure that the most vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, are protected and consideration needs to be given to the safety of minor roads. Drivers should always make sure that they have proper car insurance
in place to protect themselves and others, and importantly, be aware of cyclists and pedestrians. ”