‘Still A Long Way To Go’ To Prevent Road Deaths And Injuries

Figures Another Step In Right Direction ‘But Plenty To Be Done’


By Rob Dixon

Legal experts representing people whose lives have been catastrophically affected by road traffic collisions have welcomed new statistics showing a fall in the number of people killed and seriously injured on British roads across 2012, but warned that work to improve safety is far from over.

Figures produced by the Office for National Statistics for the Department for Transport have revealed the number of people killed in incidents on the roads stood at 1,754 in 2012, which marked an eight per cent fall from 2011.

 It also revealed that 23,039 people were seriously injured in such collisions, a 0.4 per cent fall from 2011 and a drop of 15 per cent from the 2005-09 average. The total number of casualties from such incidents was also down four per cent from 2011 to 195,723.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist serious injury team specialise in helping people who have suffered life-changing injuries in road traffic collisions gain access to vital funds which support their rehabilitation and recovery, as well as representing families who have lost loved ones in such incidents.

Philip Edwards, a Partner and serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Any fall in the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the roads is always going to be positive step forward, but the fact that more than 1,700 people still lost their lives in collisions demonstrates that there is much more to be done to raise awareness of and improve road safety.

“Any number of deaths or serious injuries is simply too many. Through our work we have seen the devastating consequences that collisions can have on victims – leaving them needing support and rehabilitation often for the rest of their lives – as well as families and the communities where they live.

“The figures are of course moving in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go to ensuring continued improvements in road safety. This is about more than numbers on a page – this is about people’s lives.”

In terms of road users, one worrying statistic was that the number of pedal cyclists killed on the roads across 2012 rose by ten per cent to 118 in 2012.

Philip added: “Cycling has perhaps never been more popular in the UK following the exploits of sportsmen and women both in the Olympics and the Tour de France last year. However, it is clear that safety for cyclists remains an issue on British roads.

“This was the only category of road user to see an increase in fatalities and it is vitally important that efforts are made to ensure this rise is arrested in the coming months. Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and it is vital that measures are put in place to ensure they can enjoy safe use of British highways.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims