Personal Injury

1,752 people killed in road accidents in 2019

Estimated read time: 4 mins

Carrie Tennick, October 05, 2020

Last year saw a total of 1,752 people killed in road accidents in the UK. First4Lawyers compiled data published by the Department for Transport (DfT) that also revealed there were almost twice as many car drivers killed (508) as passengers (228).

The DfT found that 25,945 serious injuries were reported to the police in 2019. More widely, there were 153,158 casualties of all severities reported across the country. This was 5% lower than the number of casualties reported in 2018 and the lowest level since the DfT started collecting this data in 1979.

In terms of fatalities reported last year, car occupants accounted for the majority. 42% of those killed in road traffic accidents were travelling by car.

Pedestrians made up the second largest group of road users who lost their lives, at 27%. Motorcyclists made up 19%, while cyclists accounted for 6% of all road deaths.

Regional differences

Given its higher population and larger road network, it’s unsurprising that England saw the most accidents of any British nation, with 107,535 reported last year. London saw the highest number of road accidents, with 25,338 across all boroughs.

The South East region was second, with 18,372 accidents, while the North West was third, with 11,474 accidents reported. The North East saw the fewest accidents of any English region – 3,809 across all road types.

Wales saw 4,317 accidents reported on its roads, with Cardiff seeing the most of any Welsh region, at 436. Meanwhile, there were 5,684 accidents reported in Scotland. Roads in the City of Glasgow saw 845 of those incidents.

Road users

The road users most likely to be involved in an accident were men aged 40-49 travelling by car. These drivers were involved in 14,226 accidents in 2019. Female drivers in the same age group were involved in 9,137 accidents.

Across all motorcycle riders, men and women in their 30s were most likely to be involved in an accident. There were 3,293 reported involving male riders and 244 involving female riders.

Meanwhile, 4,433 cyclists were killed or seriously injured. This is an 8% rise from the 2009 figure, something the DfT puts down to the increase in popularity of cycling. There was a 16% increase in cyclist traffic from 2009 to 2019 – and 2020 and the coronavirus lockdown has caused those numbers to soar even higher.

Types of roads

Motorways continued to be some of the safest roads to travel on. Despite seeing a 2% rise in the amount of traffic, British motorways saw a 10% drop in the number of accidents happening on them. There were 4,130 accidents of all severities reported in 2019 on motorways – 100 involving deaths.

Built up roads saw the highest number of accidents reported, at 90,928 across all speed limits. 782 people were killed on these roads last year. Non-built up roads saw far fewer accidents, but those with a 60mph speed limit still registered 14,400 accidents of all severities.

Major roads – motorways and A roads – were more likely to see fatal accidents than minor roads – B, C and unclassified roads. But more accidents altogether took place on minor roads than major roads – 61,064 compared to 56,472.

Contributing factors

Careless actions were found to be responsible for the highest percentage of road accidents. Drivers and riders failing to look properly caused 39% of accidents where a police officer attended the scene. Failing to judge another road user’s path or speed caused another 21% of accidents.

Speeding was also responsible for a high proportion of casualties. Breaking the speed limit was responsible for 15% of deaths in road accidents, while travelling too fast for the road conditions was responsible for 7%.

Despite highly publicised campaigns raising awareness of the issue, alcohol continues to feature as a contributing factor to road accidents. There were 4,389 accidents of all severities where alcohol impairment played a part. 117 people were killed by drivers or riders who had been drinking.

When most accidents could have been avoided if drivers had taken the appropriate level of care, becoming the victim of one can be hugely distressing. Whatever the reason for a road accident, you could be entitled to compensation if you were involved in one that wasn’t your fault.

First4Lawyers could help you make a claim. To find out more, just get in touch. Give us a call, request a call back or start your claim online.

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