Personal Injury Solicitors Discuss Road Traffic Accident Statistics
3rd October 2013
The UK’s roads have been slowly becoming safer and safer for many years, and although there are some annual anomalies, the number of motor vehicle accidents is continually declining. This is likely due to a range of factors – vehicle manufacturers are improving safety standards within their cars, decreasing breaking distances and setting up emergency warning systems, driving lessons generally become more and more effective, and new signage and safety devices are constantly being rolled out across the UK. Furthermore, the amount of vehicle traffic has been continually declining – perhaps as a result of the ongoing economic difficulties faced by Brits. However, personal injury solicitors still regularly handle road traffic accident claims, and it will take a lot of technological innovation to completely eradicate these personal injury claims.
Recently, the Department for Transport released the Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Annual Report 2012, showing that 2012 saw the annual decline in motor vehicle accidents that other recent years have seen. As a result, while the year saw a huge number of personal injuries in road traffic accident – 195,723 reported casualties in total – this is a 4% fall from 2011’s figures. The number of people who died in motor vehicle accidents saw an even greater annual decline of 8%, with 1,754 people losing their lives in road accidents. The decline in serious injuries was less pronounced, with 23,029 people sustaining serious personal injuries – a fall of just 0.4%. Vehicle traffic rates also fell by 0.4%.
However, the number of cyclist accidents reported increased slightly over the year – likely as a result of the increasing popularity of cycling as a method of transport. In 2011, 107 cyclists lost their lives in road traffic accidents, but this rose to 118 in 2012.
Road Traffic Accidents In The Uk And Drink Drivers
As personal injury solicitors know, a huge number of road traffic accidents are not reported to the police, even if they lead to injuries. Failing to report a motor vehicle accident to the police could invalidate insurance policies and can potentially make it very difficult for the victim to claim compensation. However, the Department for Transport estimated that overall, the number of road traffic accidents leading to injuries in 2012, including those not reported to the police, could be between 630,000 and 790,000.
Drunk drivers are still responsible for a large proportion of fatal road traffic accidents – provisional estimates for 2012 indicate approximately 280 people were killed in car accidents involving drunk drivers. This accounts for around 16% of all fatal car accidents over the year and is a 17% increase on 2011’s figures. Furthermore, 1,200 people were seriously injured in drink-drive accidents, or 5% of all people seriously injured on the roads during the year.
However, while the 17% and 5% increases might seem shocking, personal injury solicitors note that the number of people who are seriously injured or killed in drink drive accidents has seen an almost six-fold decline since 1979, when detailed reports began. Most of the people who died (71%) were riders and drivers who were intoxicated.