Too Many People Are Still Being Killed Or Injured On Scotland’s Roads, Warns Lawyer

Irwin Mitchell Supports Roadpeace Safety Campaign

01.08.2013

By Suzanne Rutter

A leading serious injury lawyer has welcomed new figures which show the number of people who were killed or seriously injured on Scotland’s roads last year has decreased but has warned more still needs to be done to make our roads safer in the run up to Roadpeace National Road Victim Month.

According to Transport Scotland, road casualties have fallen by 2 per cent and fatalities by 8 per cent since 2011, though there has been a small rise in serious injuries (4 per cent). Car and pedestrian casualties have decreased whilst motor cycle and pedal cycle casualties have increased. Pedestrian and pedal cycle fatalities have also increased.

Elaine Russell, a partner and serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, said the figures should act as a wakeup call to all motorists to drive more carefully as Britain marks Road Victim Month, run by charity Roadpeace.

Provisional figures from the national transport agency for 2012 show there were 12,575 reported road casualties, (202 or 2 per cent fewer than 2011), the lowest figure recorded. Of which there were:

• 170 fatalities: 15 (or 8 per cent) fewer than 2011;

• 1,959 seriously injured: 82 (or 4 per cent) more than 2011

• 10,446 slightly injured: 269 (or 3 per cent) fewer than 2011

• 1,161 child casualties, 155 (12 per cent) fewer than in 2011, 193 seriously injured 10 (5 per cent) less than in 2011 and 2 fatalities.

In 2012, there were 17 fatal incidents in Tayside (10 in Perth and Kinross) and 156 serious accidents (74 in Perth and Kinross).

In Aberdeenshire and Moray there were 16 fatal incidents (14 of which were in Aberdeenshire) and 204 serious accidents (168 of which were in Aberdeenshire).

In the Lothians and Scottish Borders there were 9 fatal incidents and 150 serious accidents.

Elaine Russell, from Irwin Mitchell, said: “While it is reassuring that the number of fatalities and child casualties decreased in 2012 compared to 2011, the increase in the number of people seriously injured on Scotland’s road shows there’s more that can still be done to improve safety.

“At Irwin Mitchell we see the devastating consequences road traffic collisions can have on other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and even one death or injury is one too many. The causes range from a simple lack of concentration to driving poorly or dangerously in hazardous conditions and road crashes are, by their very nature, almost always avoidable.

“It means that every year thousands of people are being killed or injured unnecessarily. Roadpeace’s National Road Victims Month is a good opportunity to raise awareness about the tragic consequences road accidents can have on people’s lives. It’s not just about numbers - each statistic reflects a person’s life and how they have been affected by accidents on the roads.”

The figures also show that:

• 7,577 car users were injured (3 per cent fewer than 2011); including 72 fatalities (17 fewer than 2011) and 836 serious injuries (80 more than in 2011).

• There were 1,950 pedestrian casualties (5 per cent fewer than 2011); including 54 fatalities (11 more than 2011) and 456 serious injuries (58 less than in 2011).

• Motorcyclist casualties reached 864 (7 per cent more than 2011); including 21 fatalities (12 less than 2011) and 342 serious injuries (49 more than in 2011).

• There were 898 pedal cyclist casualties in 2012 (9 per cent more than 2011; including 9 fatalities (2 more than 2011) and 167 serious injuries (11 more than 2011).

• In terms of gender, male road casualties fell by 2 per cent (to 7,138 in 2012), with fatalities falling by 12 per cent to 123. Female road casualties fell by 1 per cent to 5,431) with fatalities increasing by one to 47 in 2012.

• Young people aged 16 to 22-years-old were involved in more collisions with 2,274 (18% per cent) within this age bracket, a 1 per cent increase from 2,242 in 2011. Casualties aged 50 to 59 increased by 8 per cent.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a road traffic accident, our personal injury solicitors team could help to get the compensation, rehabilitation and support you deserve. Visit our Road Traffic Accident Compensation page for more information.