Britain reacts to the DfT’s Annual Casualty Statistics 2015

July 7, 2016

On June 30th the Department for Transport released their reported road casualties report for 2015. The whole motor industry and road safety industry responded rapidly with their thoughts. The Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain 2015 shows that 1732 people were killed in reported road accidents in Great Britain in 2015. This is the second lowest recorded figure after 2013 and represents a decrease on 2014.

The decrease on 2014’s statistics worked out as approximately 2.4%. However, the report states that ‘natural variation’ could be said to be responsible for this. With this statistical evidence considered, the Department for Transport admit that there has been no real, recognisable change in the number of fatalities in Great Britain, since 2011. There is no clear trend according to the Department for Transport. Therefore, these figures don’t mark a cause for celebration, as they are evidence of stagnation, rather than a decreasing trend.

“Statistically Significant” Change in Seriously Injured Figures

road traffic deaths

When looking more closely at the statistics for seriously injured casualties in 2015, the figures recorded showed 22,137 injured. This again was the second lowest figure on record. However, unlike with the fatalities the Department for Transport mark this figure out as ‘statistically significant’. It is possible that this is a reflection of general changes on the roads around Great Britain.

In terms of personal injury road traffic accidents, the Department for Transport recorded 140, 086 in total reported to the police in the whole of 2015. The report itself states that there is not definitive evidence of a continued improvement in road deaths. When compared with Scottish and Welsh figures, the Great British figures as a whole are not nearly as positive in terms of reduction.

All the leading road safety organisations and charities have commented on the report. Many of their opinions are quite similar in style. Brake state that they welcome the slight drop in deaths and serious injuries. However, they also call for more to be done to speed up the process of bringing numbers down. Similarly, speaking on behalf of IAM Roadsmart, their director of policy and research, Neil Greig, commented: “Five years of flat lining on road deaths is unacceptable. Whilst 2015 was a relatively good year the huge gains in road safety made in the past now seem a distant memory.”

More Work Needed to Reduce Road Deaths

Any number of deaths which is lower than the previous year should be celebrated. It means the human impact of dangerous driving and road risk is decreased. However, when this figure is compared on a larger basis, it shows we are almost at a standstill in bringing road death figures down. This is something the government need to work to change.

Photo:   © Copyright Humphrey Bolton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence