Road Deaths Fall But Worrying Trends Remain
by Becky Harrison |
posted 02 July 2021
Recent figures have revealed a drop in annual road deaths for the first time in eight years. In 2020, there were 1,472 reported road deaths, compared to 1,748 in 2019. This is drop of 16% which, while positive, sits against the background of the global pandemic and four months of a national lockdown (April to June and November) which reduced traffic levels by 25%. It means that on average four people are still dying on UK roads every day, compared to five people a day in 2019.
A quick overview of the stats revealed:
an estimated 1,472 reported road deaths in 2020 which includes a total of 4 months of national lockdown (April to June and November) – a 16% fall
an estimated 23,486 killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties in 2020, a decrease of 22% compared to the same period in 2019
the reduction in road traffic followed a similar trend in the same period and decreased by 21%
pedal cyclist casualty rates saw the greatest percentage decrease (34%) compared to all other road user types (because many more people cycled).
actual numbers of cyclists killed went up by 40 and by 40 % (100 were killed in 2019 and 140 in 2020)
children (aged 0 to 16 years) and older people (60 years and older) had the greatest percentage decrease of 84% and 74% respectively, compared to 3-year average for 2017 to 2019.
A similar pattern was observed during the second national lockdown where child casualties and older casualties decreased by 37% and 41% respectively, over the same period.
The rise in cycling injuries is worrying and shows the government must do more to protect them by building higher quality segregated cycling facilities. White paint and temporary bollards are clearly not enough to protect cyclists from motorised traffic.