Deaths of cyclists and pedestrians on Europe’s roads
Calls for urgent action
The United Kingdom leaving the EU has coincided with a report being released from the European Transport Safety Council – which shows cyclists and pedestrians remain the most vulnerable road users. The report included data from the UK, which includes one shocking statistic from our roads.
The main finding of the report is that deaths of cyclists across the EU have fallen eight times more slowly than the deaths of motor vehicle occupants between 2010 and 2018. During that period, the average annual deaths across the EU was 5180 for pedestrians and 2160 for cyclists. When compared to deaths amongst motorised vehicle users deaths for occupants of such vehicles fell on average by a little over 3% per year, but for cyclists this was 0.4%.
The report also found that 99% of pedestrian deaths and 83% of cyclist deaths were said to be as a result of collision with a motor vehicle.
For the UK, perhaps the most surprising and shocking statistic was that since 2010 pedestrian deaths actually increased by an average of 1% each year, which given the investment in UK infrastructure, including cycle lanes and cycle friendly routes, and even allowing for the increased popularity cycling, compares badly to the overall small reduction across the EU, with some countries like Norway and Slovenia achieving reductions in the region of 8-9%.
The report makes recommendations which the authors hope will vastly improve the figures for these vulnerable groups of road users including 30km/h zones with traffic calming; reduced motor vehicle traffic; truly safe crossings and footways; separate cycle paths; improved enforcement.
“One of the most difficult aspects of my job is when I represent the loved ones of someone who has died in a road traffic collision, and regrettably I do see that pedestrians and cyclists are such a significant number of those cases. As much as I have been doing this for a long time, and it upsets me to see the pain loved ones are going through, I don’t think anyone can fully understand the devastating impact that such sudden and shocking death’s can have. In cases where someone else is at least partly to blame for the accident, there can be the possibility of helping the people left behind to bring a compensation claim – but of course this cannot bring people back. This is why I strongly support anything which prevents these avoidable tragedies happening and would urge UK politicians to look carefully at the conclusions of the report of the ETSC and take them into account in setting policies to protect our most vulnerable road users”.
Pursuing a claim following an a road accident
If you a seeking compensation following a road accident, and need guidance and support, please contact our Partner and Head of CSR, Philip Edwards or call us on 0800 316 8892. We have offices all over the country (Birmingham, Cardiff, Southampton Taunton, Bristol, London, and Manchester), so our specialist lawyers are never too far away.