Road Casualty Figures Indicate Need For Joined Up Approach To Safety

DfT Figures Reveal Deaths And Serious Injuries Increased In 12-Months To End Of September 2014

06.02.2015

Legal experts who specialise in helping people seriously injured in road traffic have called for joined-up thinking in government to improve road safety following an increase in the number of road casualties.

The latest Department for Transport (DfT) figures revealed that road deaths in the UK increased by 1% in the 12 months up to the end of September 2014, compared to the year ending September 2013, with 1,730 fatalities recorded.

Overall, the figures revealed that there were 24,360 killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties in the 12 month period, which represents a 4% year-on-year increase.

Additionally, the latest statistics indicated that child KSI casualties rose by 3% in the same period to 2,060, the first rise in this area for 20 years. There were 3,500 cyclists killed or serious injured in the year ending September 2014, which represents an increase of 8 per cent compared with the previous year. 

Following the release of the research, specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are calling on road safety charities, and groups representing cyclists and motorists to work together with the Highways Agency to consider what can be done to improve safety on routes in the countryside.

Cathy Leech, a consultant at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping serious injury victims gain financial support which allows them to access vital rehabilitation and support, said:
Expert Opinion
The nature of our work means we have seen the devastating and life-changing consequences a road collision can have on those involved, particularly vulnerable road users, such as children and cyclists. Accidents can result in long-term physical and psychological trauma, which can have a dramatic impact on the rest of victims’ lives.

“While the UK has some of the safest roads in the world, these latest figures, which indicate casualties are increasing and the number of children involved in road accidents is rising, should act as a wake-up call that a joined up approach needs to be taken to improve road safety in this country.

“This of course begins with road users taking responsibility for their actions, understanding the inherent risks of driving and ensuring that their safety of themselves and other road users is always the top priority.

“It is vital further research is conducted into measures that have the potential to reduce the number of accidents that lead to fatalities or serious injuries, such as 20mph zones, segregated cycle lanes, graduated driving licences and a tougher stance on drink and drug-driving, as these ideas could play a key role in improving current standards of safety.

“Any number of deaths on the roads is simply too many and figures of this kind only serve to demonstrate the important work that still needs to be done on this issue.”
Catherine Leech, Partner