Road death statistics ‘unacceptably high’ in 2018

• 1,782 killed on Britain’s roads in 2018
• Down 1% from 2017, but up 4% since 2013
• RoadPeace urges government to follow London’s lead and adopt Vision Zero

RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, is ‘saddened but not surprised’ to hear that Department for Transport (DfT) has reported that there were 1,782 road deaths on Britain’s roads in 2018. Whilst this is 11 fewer road deaths than in 2017, it is not statistically significant – indicating that the number of people dying on the roads is continuing to remain at an unacceptably high number. Road deaths have remained at largely the same level since 2010, with slight fluctuations in between. In 2013, for example, the number of people reported killed was 4% lower than 2018 – at 1,713.

If the progress made in the first decade of this century had been sustained, Britain’s road death toll would be under 1,000 by now. Still 1,000 too many but at least 782 fewer road deaths than we have now.
RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, is urging the government to take a bolder approach to reducing casualties.

Victoria Lebrec, RoadPeace campaign coordinator and crash victim, said

“The fatality figures released by DfT show complacency on the government’s behalf. There have been a number of initiatives over the last few years to try and reduce the number, but bolder action is needed. 1,782 people is completely unacceptable and there should be uproar at that figure. There are 1,782 families left devastated, and the government needs to do more to stop this happening in the future”.

Ciara Lee’s family was one of the families who were not spared. Her husband Eddie was one of the 1,782 killed on our roads. For a very moving example of the impact a road death can have on a family—and this is only a glimpse of the true loss–listen to Ciara’s testimony here.

It is worth noting that the figure of 1,782 is widely accepted to not be an accurate one. The reported number excludes those deaths which occurred more than 30 days after the crash. It also excludes deaths to unborn children. The Luxon family is campaigning to change this restriction after a dangerous driver killed their 26 week old unborn daughter.

A further 25,484 people were reported by police to have been seriously injured in crashes in 2018. This will include those with life changing injuries as well as those deaths occurring beyond 30 days. DfT warns against comparison with previous years due to problems with under-reporting. It estimates the number of those seriously injured at 27,811, which is 2,327 more than police reported.

These casualties are not the results of accidents. They are caused by road crashes, with many of them easily preventable. Unlike London where the Mayor is aiming for zero road deaths (and where road deaths have fallen to 110, the lowest on record,) DfT has refused to set any targets for road deaths or serious injuries. As our critique of their recent Road Safety Statement shows, RoadPeace believe much more can be done to reduce road deaths, injuries and road danger.

Others also believe more can and should be done. Thanks to the Transport Select Committee who conducted an inquiry into road safety and have just launched an inquiry into young and novice driver safety. Watch the moving testimony from Peter Campbell to see the impact the death of a teenage daughter killed by a novice driver has on a family.

And for those casualties not prevented whose families were not spared road death or injury, RoadPeace is here to help. Call the RoadPeace helpline on 0845 4500 355.