UK road deaths at record low


Pedestrian killed in car crash

The number of people killed as a result of accidents on the UK road network has fallen to an all-time low; the latest statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) show.

1,713 people were killed in road traffic accidents in 2013 – a two per cent drop on 2012's figures. The number of people seriously injured is also in decline, down six per cent year on year to 21,657 last year, Autocar reports.

The reduction in the number of casualties comes despite a 0.4 per cent increase in traffic volume between 2012-2013.

The statistics show that the majority of those killed in road accidents (46 per cent) were car passengers, while the rest were made up of motorcyclists (19 per cent), pedestrians (23 per cent) and cyclists (six per cent).

Of those, only the number of fatalities involving motorcyclists has grown – the single per cent rise representing the first increase since 2006.

Happily however, fatalities amongst children in collisions has seen the biggest downturn over the two years, falling nine per cent to the lowest level since records began in 1979.

The statistics also reveal that the motorway network is the safest place to drive, with deaths having fallen 42 per cent between 2005-2009. This has largely been attributed to advances in vehicle safety, which offers occupants greater protection in high-speed collisions. Only six per cent of fatalities in 2013 occurred on motorways, making them the safest roads on a per-mile travelled basis.

Conversely, rural roads and carriageways in 'non-built-up' areas present the biggest risk to motorists, with 52 per cent of all road deaths occurring on these country lanes – a likely outcome of the combination of national speed limits and the typically twisty layouts of these roads catching drivers out.

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