Road deaths and casualties fall in 2020 as lockdown causes traffic numbers to decline

UK traffic collisions in the 12 months up to June 2020 were down by 16 per cent as lockdown measures caused traffic levels to tumble.

New figures released today by the Department for Transport show that as well as collisions, road deaths fell by 14 per cent compared with the previous year.

In total, there were 131,220 casualties of all severities (down from 156,034 the previous year) and 1,580 road deaths, dropping from 1,827 in 2019. Between January and June 2020, an estimated 670 people were killed in reported road deaths – a 21 per cent decrease compared with the equivalent period of 2019.

The greatest fall in casualties was registered in April, dropping by 67 per cent compared with the previous year.

However, these reductions are likely brought on by the continued coronavirus-related lockdown measures applied across the UK and the resulting fall in traffic. For instance, road traffic fell by 49 per cent for April to June compared with 2019.

Despite these reductions, the fatality rate per billion vehicle miles remained stable at 5.4, while the casualty rate per billion vehicle miles decreased by just two per cent.
Simon Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, said: “Although the reduction in casualties looks to be broadly in line with the reduction in traffic volumes over this period, the fatality rate remains unchanged at 5.1 per billion miles compared to the previous year. It’s still a sad fact that on average 29 people are being killed on Britain’s roads every week, with around six-in-10 of these taking place on motorways and major A-roads.”