UK road casualties

Key facts:

  • In 2017, there were 1,793 people killed on the roads in Britain, the highest annual total since 2011; [1]
  • In 2017, 24,831 people were seriously injured on the road in Britain; [2]
  • In 2017, England experienced the highest number of road fatalities (1,544), accounting for over three-quarters (83%) of road deaths in the UK; [3]
  • In 2017, Northern Ireland experienced the lowest number of recorded road fatalities (63) and serious injuries (841) in the UK; [4]
  • In 2017, the highest number of fatalities were car users, both drivers and passengers, who accounted for 44% of road deaths; [5]
  • In 2017, of the 1,793 road deaths, the majority (60%) occurred on rural roads. [6]

Introduction

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 2017, England experienced the highest number of road fatalities (1,544), accounting for over three-quarters (83%) of road deaths in the UK. This was also a 3% increase on the number of deaths in 2016. The highest number of fatalities occurred in the south east of England (267) and the lowest in the north east (58). [7]

Wales

The number of fatalities on the roads in Wales in 2017 remained the same as 2016 at 103. Wales also saw a 10% decrease in total casualties from 2016 to 2017. [8]

Scotland

In 2017, there were 146 deaths, 1,589 serious injuries and 9,427 casualties on Scotland’s roads. The highest percentage (60%) of road casualties took place on built-up roads and the highest number of fatalities occurred on rural ‘A’ roads (79). [9]

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland had the lowest number of road fatalities (63) and serious injuries (841) in 2017. Car users represented over half (36) of the total fatalities. [10] 

Casualties by road user type

In 2017, the highest number of fatalities were car users, both drivers and passengers, who accounted for 44% of road deaths (669) in the UK. [11] 

There were 470 pedestrian deaths in the UK in 2017, a 5% increase on 2016. 26% of all road deaths were pedestrians [12].

There were 101 cyclist deaths in the UK in 2017, a 1% reduction on 2016. There was also 18,321 cyclist casualties on Britain's roads in 2017, a 1% decrease on 2017. However, between 2016 and 2017 there was a 5% decrease in cycling traffic on 2016. [13]

There were 349 motorcyclist fatalities in 2017, up 9% from 319 in 2016. Compared to car users, motorcyclists are 55 times more likely to be killed, and 81 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads in Britain. [14]

Road type

In 2017, of the 1,793 road deaths, the majority (60%) occurred on rural roads, yet the most casualties (63%) occurred on urban roads. [15]

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 6% to 99 in 2017. [18]

Demographics

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of child fatalities (aged 0-15) in Great Britain fell from 69 in 2016 to 48 in 2017. During the same period, the total number of child casualties decreased by 2%. The majority (58%) of child casualties were male and 37% of them were pedestrians. The highest concentration of child fatalities (23%) occurred during school leaving hours (3pm-5pm). [19]

279 young people (aged 17-24) were killed on Britain's roads in 2017, down from 299 in 2016. However, whilst young people make up only 7% of licence holders, they represent over 20% of drivers killed or seriously injured in car crashes [20]. The number of road deaths within the older population (aged 60+) increased by 5% to 559 in 2017, up from 533 in 2016. [21] 


End notes

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018
[2] ibid
[3] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018, table RAS30032
[4]Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018, table RAS30032
[5] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018, table RAS30034
[6] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018
[7] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018, table RAS30032
[8] Ibid
[9] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018, table RAS30033
[10] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018, table RAS30034
[11] Ibid
[12] ibid
[13] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018
[14] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018, table RAS30013
[16] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018, table RAS10001
[17] Ibid
[18] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018
[19] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018
[20] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018, table RAS30011
[21] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2017, Department for Transport, 2018

Last updated: December 2018

Tags: road deaths serious injury pledge