British Road Deaths Climb by 13%
According to estimates provided by the Government this week, road casualty figures have been the subject of a dramatic and worrying rise in the early part of 2014.
The Government’s statistics show:-
There were 5,500 incidents of KSIs (killed or seriously injured) in January to March this year, representing a 17% rise
- There were also 40,460 slight injuries, a rise of 15%
- There were 380 deaths on British roads in the first three months of the year, and this was 13% higher than the same period in 2013
- Pedal cyclist KSIs were at 690, a 27% rise
- There was a shocking increase in slight injuries to pedal cyclists which went up by a massive 43%
- KSIs amongst motorcyclists went up to 950, a 20% rise
- Pedestrian KSIs went up 16% to 1,460
- Car user KSIs were at 2,160, a 15% increase
Whilst the Government stated that Britain’s roads are amongst the safest in the world, and in seeking to explain the statistics pointed to increased traffic volumes and a mild weather in the first quarter of the year meaning more people were using the road system, there was sharp criticism from other quarters. For example, the transport charity Sustrans said:-
“The sharp rise in casualties will only serve to further deter people from walking and cycling and promote a growing fear among parents that children are safer inside the car than out.
It is unacceptable that the Government allows this to continue when a simple solution is at hand. It’s time to bit the bullet and make dedicated funding available to transform local walking and cycling routes and introduce lower traffic speeds”
Other organisations continue to campaign for a change in the culture of road use in the United Kingdom, and everyone hopes these figures can be reversed. As Transport Minister, Robert Goodwill, said “….one road death is too many, which is why we continue to tackle dangerous driving and make our roads safer for everyone” – and at Clarke Willmott will all too regularly see the devastating and tragic consequences of death and serious injury to our clients following what are often avoidable incidents.
The road safety charity – BRAKE – will be raising awareness in Road Safety Week in November with the theme of “Look out for each other” – a simple but effective message which if adopted by all road users may yet bring about a turnaround in this week’s shocking statistics. The figures showing a 20% rise in motorcycle KSIs come a week after Clarke Willmott lawyer Felicity Rackstraw assisted in launching the “Think Biker” campaign for 2014. Felicity, who is an experienced motorcyclist and instructor, sustained serious injuries when another motorist failed to see her on a roundabout and drove into collision with her, and last week appeared in the Birmingham Mail to be part of the “Think Biker” initiative. The ethos of the campaign is to encourage motorcyclists to drive safely, and other motorists to take extra care in looking for and protecting motorcyclists, and has taken on an even more important meaning in light of the recently release Government estimates of KSIs.
“These estimates are both shocking and worrying, but the most important thing is to remind road users that these are not just statistics, but involve real people, and the consequences for families and individuals are often beyond words. If people pay attention to these figures, understand the life changing impact of road traffic collisions, and pay heed to campaigns like “Think Biker”, then hopefully these terrible events will be avoided in the future.