Latest Road Accident Statistics

Road deaths fall to 2,222 in 2009

2,222 people were killed in road accidents in 2009, 12% lower than in 2008

23 September 2010

Today the Department for Transport has published the new Road Casualties Great Britain report for 2009.

  • There were a total of 222,146 reported casualties of all severities in 2009, 4% lower than in 2008
  • 2,222 people were killed, 12% lower than in 2008
  • 24,690 were seriously injured (down 5%), and
  • 195,234 were slightly injured (down 4%)

The number of fatalities fell for almost all types of road user, with a fall of 16% for car occupants, 13% for pedestrians, 10% for pedal cyclists and 4% for motorcyclists.

Compared with the 1994-98 average, in 2009:

  • The number killed was 38% lower
  • The number of reported killed or seriously injured casualties was 44% lower
  • The number of children killed or seriously injured was 61% lower, and
  • The slight casualty rate was 37% lower

In contrast traffic rose by an estimated 15% over this period.

AA Comment

Edmund King, AA President, said:

We should not accept that 2,222 should die on our roads "We hope that this all-time low in road deaths can be beaten next year but this will be a real challenge given the cuts to public expenditure which have already hit some road safety budgets and led to some local authorities switching off street lights. Questions have to be asked about the size of cuts that will fall on road maintenance, road safety schemes, roads policing and road safety campaigns. If these cuts are made in the wrong places the progress made in recent years may not continue.

"As a society we should not accept that 2,222 should die on our roads. We must continue to invest in engineering, enforcement and education to make our roads safer. Drivers can help by pledging to always wear a seat-belt, never drink or drug drive, never use a mobile and by paying more attention. 'Failed to look' was the most common contributory factor reported in 38% of crashes."

Contributory factors

'Failed to look properly' was again the most frequently reported contributory factor and was reported in 38% of all accidents reported to the police in 2009.

Four of the five most frequently reported contributory factors involved driver or rider error or reaction.

For fatal accidents the most frequently reported contributory factor was loss of control, which was involved in 36% of fatal accidents.

Exceeding the speed limit was reported as a factor in 5% of accidents, but these accidents involved 17% of fatalities.

At least one of 'exceeding the speed limit' and 'travelling too fast for the conditions' was reported in 13% of all accidents and these accidents accounted for 27% of all fatalities.

Pedestrian failed to look properly was reported in 58% of accidents in which a pedestrian was injured or killed, and pedestrian careless, reckless or in a hurry was reported in 23%.

See the full report on the DfT website »

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23 September 2010