Road safety statistics

In 2016 reported road deaths were up by 4% increasing to 1,792. The number of people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents also saw an increase from 2015 of 9%, to 24,101 in 2016.

Analysis by IAM RoadSmart has found that human factors continue to significantly outweigh other reasons for crashes on British roads, and have called again for drivers to look on improving driving and riding skills as part of their lifelong personal development.

The figures from the Department for Transport show that in 2016 driver/rider error or reaction were cited as contributory factors in 71% of accidents.  The second highest factor was ‘behaviour or inexperience’ which was cited as a contributory factor in 25% of accidents, accounting for more than 24,895 accidents.  Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “
Changing attitudes is the key factor when it comes to reducing the numbers of casualties on our roads. People must accept responsibility for enhancing their own skills and recognising their limitations. Like so many other areas of life extra coaching pays dividends – and for a driver or rider, that means keeping their skills fresh by continuous improvement and learning.”

An IAM RoadSmart report which analysed 5 years’ worth of accident data highlighted driver and rider error as one of the biggest contributory factor in both deaths and injuries on UK roads.

The following table indicates the yearly casualty rates on UK roads, compiled from Department for Transport data:

Year Road Fatalities Seriously injured Slightly injured Total KSI casualties Motor vehicle traffic (billion vehicle miles)
2015 1,732 22,137 162,340 186,209 317
2014 1,775 22,801 169,895 194,471 311
2013 1,713 21,657 160,300 183,670 304
2012 1,754 23,039 170,930 195,723 303
2011 1,901 23,122 178,927 203,950 304
2010 1,850 22,660 184,138 208,648 303
2009 2,222 24,690 195,234 222,146 308
2008 2,538 26,034 202,333 230,905 311


Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2016 figures showed a total of 10,901 road casualties reported in 2016, including 191 fatalities - 1% more than 2015.

Car occupants: The largest percentage of incidents amongst road user types involved car occupants, with 816 fatalities during 2016, 8% more fatalities than 2015. During 2016 there was a total of 109,046 car occupant casualties, of which 816 were fatalities, 8,975 were serious injuries and 99,255 were slight injuries. 32% (34,892) of these casualties were passengers. Cars travelled an estimated 253 billion vehicle miles in 2016 out of a total of 324 billion vehicle miles.

Pedestrians: There were 448 pedestrian fatalities during 2016, 10% more than in 2015 and 34% (226) fewer than 2006. During 2016 there were a total of 23,550 casualties involving pedestrians, of which 448 were fatalities, 5,140 were serious injuries and 17,962 were slight injuries. 36% (8,478) of road traffic incidents involving pedestrians occurred between 3pm and 7pm, whilst 26% of pedestrians were under 16 years of age. Pedestrians travelled an estimated 11.4 billion vehicle miles in 2015 out of a total of 324 billion vehicle miles.

There were increases in pedestrian fatalities between 2010 (from 405) and 2011 (to 453), and between 2013 (from 398) and 2016 (to 448).  In 2013 IAM RoadSmart reported that ‘failure to look properly’ and ‘failure to judge other person's path or speed’ was the biggest pairing of factors when it came to (vehicles and pedestrian conflicts).

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “There also needs to be a focus on tackling pedestrian deaths, an area which is often ignored. We believe that car technology and design should now shift from occupant protection to protecting the vulnerable outside cars.” He added: “We also need better pedestrian facilities to segregate traffic and vulnerable users where speeds are high, and campaigns to educate pedestrians themselves as they are most often at fault in crashes.”

Cyclists: There were 102 cyclist fatalities during 2016, 2% more than in 2015 and 30% (44) fewer than 2006. During 2016 there were a total of 18,845 casualties related to cyclists, of which 102 were fatalities, 3,397 were serious injuries and 14,978 were slight injuries. 77% (14,227) of these incidents occurred on 30mph roads. Cyclists travelled an estimated 3.5 billion vehicle miles in 2016 out of a total of 324 billion vehicle miles.

Motorcycle: There were 319 motorcycling fatalities during 2016, a 13% decrease from the 365 fatalities in 2015. During 2016 there were a total of 19,297 casualties related to motorcyclists, of which 319 were fatalities, 5,553 were serious injuries and 13,425 were slight injuries. 44% (8,767) of these incidents occurred in London and the South East, whilst 32% (6,376) of motorcyclists were aged between 17 and 24. Cyclists travelled an estimated 2.8 billion vehicle miles in 2016 out of a total of 324 billion vehicle miles.