In a previous article, we told you about the alarming figures recently published showing for the first time in 18 years an increase in road casualties in the UK.
The reasons may be diverse but we do know that distracted driving is a huge problem for road safety. We are in an era of smartphones, 4G and all the apps that distract road users. (drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians) and a common reason for road casualties in 2014 is that the drivers' fail to see properly.
The weather appears to be another reason; 2014 showed warmer temperatures than expected, which could cause people to get out on the road more often and increases the risk of road incidents, especially with cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists. But 2014 was also more rainy than the indicated forecast, meaning conditions could also have contributed to the figures.
This increase could also be cyclical. In 13 of our European neighbours, a rise in traffic incidents was also recorded: France, Ireland, Sweden, and Germany recorded an increase in road casualties for the first time in many years, with Germany explaining this increase due to favourable weather.
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, noted the need to restore the road safety targets and the importance of focusing on the quality of training for companies and individuals to help them develop their driving skills. Greig also speaks of the need to strengthen security technology not only for inside the vehicle but also for the environment outside of the vehicle. Finally, he stresses the importance that we should put on pedestrian safety, both in infrastructure and adapted measures and also through awareness campaigns clarifying the dangers on the road.
The estimates for the first quarter of 2015 were found to be below forecasts. Although these data are not confirmed yet, they herald a trend that seems to be even lower than the lower forecasts made in early 2015. (see table below that shows the estimates and forecasts for the year and Q1 2015)
Table source: Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: quarterly provisional estimates Q1 2015 - by the Departement for Transport published the 6th of August.
These results are encouraging and if they follow this trend for the year 2015, they will show a decrease compared to 2014. However, it is important to look forward and to ensure that the steady decline in road accidents continues rather than thinking we've already achieved enough...