UK road casualties

Key facts:

  • In 2018, there were 1,784 people killed on the roads in Britain;
  • In 2018, 25,511 people were seriously injured on the roads in Britain;
  • In 2018, there was a total of 160,597 casualties of all severities in road traffic crashes;
  • In 2018, the highest number of fatalities were car users, both drivers and passengers, who accounted for 44% of road deaths;
  • In 2018, of the 1,784 road deaths, the majority (58%) occurred on rural roads.

Introduction

On average, five people die every day on the road in Great Britain and countless more are seriously injured. Britain's road safety record has stagnated in recent years, with the number of road deaths remaining broadly constant for several years. 

Casualties by country

England 

In 2018, England experienced the highest number of road fatalities (1,521), accounting for over four fiths (85%) of road deaths in the UK. This was also a 1% decrease on the number of deaths in 2017. The highest number of fatalities occurred in the south east of England (258) and the lowest in the north east (52).

Wales

The number of fatalities on the roads in Wales in 2018 remained the same as 2017 at 103. Wales also saw a 7% decrease in total casualties from 2017 to 2018.

Scotland

In 2018, there were 160 deaths, 1,580 serious injuries and 8,394 casualties on Scotland’s roads.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland had the lowest number of road fatalities (55) and serious injuries (730) in 2018.

Casualties by road user type

In 2018, the highest number of fatalities were car users, both drivers and passengers, who accounted for 44% of road deaths (777) in the UK.

There were 456 pedestrian deaths in the UK in 2018, a 3% decrease on 2017. 26% of all road deaths were pedestrians.

There were 99 cyclist deaths in the UK in 2018, a 2% reduction on 2017. There was a total of 17,550 cyclist casualties on Britain's roads in 2018, a 4% decrease on 2017. There was also an estimated 2% increase in cycling traffic in 2018 compared to 2017.

There were 354 motorcyclist fatalities in 2018, up 1% from 349 in 2017.

Road type

In 2018, of the 1,784 road deaths, the majority (58%) occurred on rural roads, yet the most casualties (63%) occurred on urban roads.

The number of people killed on built-up 20 mph roads in 2017 increased by 79% on 2016, while the overall number of road crashes on 20mph roads rose by 43% over the same period. [16]

Fatalities on built-up 30 mph roads fell by 1% in Great Britain in 2017 from 2016, yet the number of serious injuries increased by 5%. [17]

The number of people killed on motorways increased by 8% to 107 in 2018.

Demographics

Between 2017 and 2018, the number of child fatalities (aged 0-15) in Great Britain remained the same at 48. During the same period, the total number of child casualties decreased by 9% to 14,266, the lowest total on record. The majority of child fatalities are mainly pedestrian (28) or car passengers (15).

279 young people (aged 17-24) were killed on Britain's roads in 2018, remaining unchanged from 2017. However, whilst young people make up only 7% of licence holders, they represent over 20% of drivers killed or seriously injured in car crashes. The number of road deaths within the older population (aged 60+) increased by 5% to 588 in 2018, up from 559 in 2017.


End notes

All figures are from: Reported road casualties Great Britain, annual report: 2018, Department for Transport, 2019

Country and regional figures are taken from: Table RAS30032: Reported casualties by region, country and severity, UK, Department for Transport, 2019


Last updated: January 2020

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