New Data Reveals Tragic Reality Of Danger On Region’s Roads Says Leading Lawyer

Road Deaths In The UK

17.12.2009

New statistics released today paint an alarming picture of the potential fatal danger on our region’s roads, a top North East lawyer has claimed.

Figures published by the Department of Transport reveal road deaths in the UK over the last decade (1999-2008) and highlight that road crashes are the largest single cause of death for people between the ages of five and thirty-five.

In the past 10 years, the death toll on Britain’s roads has amounted to an alarming 32,298.  In 2008 alone, 2,538 people died in road accidents, an average of nearly seven every day. There were 105 deaths recorded in the North East and Cumbria – by Police authority, 29 in Cumbria, 18 in Cleveland, 20 in Durham and 38 in Northumbria.

Fran Mayes, partner and serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell, is only too familiar with the fatal threat of our region’s roads. She works with clients who have had their lives turned up-side-down owing to catastrophic road accidents.

She said: “This number of deaths on our roads is an utter disgrace.  While the numbers killed on Britain's roads each year is less than a decade ago, nobody should be congratulating themselves.  Behind each and every one of the 2538 road deaths is a story of human suffering, a tragedy not only for the person killed, but for those they leave behind.

“One of the strange things with road deaths is that society seems to accept them.  If there is a train crash or an air crash, it makes national news and people are rightly shocked.  However, people should be equally shocked by the utter waste of life caused by road crashes,” she added.

“When looking at the statistics, it is noteworthy that there are three times as many males killed on our roads as females.  It is equally stark that new drivers aged between 17 and 25 account for 643 (over a quarter) of the 2,538 killed on our roads.

“Of course, the number killed is just the tip of the iceberg.  In the same year, nearly 250,000 people were injured on the roads.”