DEATH AND INJURY ON THE ROADS: ARE THINGS GETTING WORSE?
ON WORLD DAY OF REMEMBRANCE ROADPEACE AND LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES UNIVERSITY PUBLISH A REPORT ANALYSING THE LAST 30 YEARS OF DANGER ON THE ROAD
- Sunday 20 November is the World Day of Remembrance, started in 1995 as a day to remember all who have died or been injured as a result of a road traffic collision.
- The day is recognised by the United Nations and commemorated worldwide, partly thanks to the work of RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims.
- RoadPeace was founded 30 years ago this year – a new report by Dr Adam Snow of Liverpool John Moores University sets out that since then, 81,315 people have been killed on British roads (between the start of 1992 and the end of 2021.) That equates to 7 people a day who died on British roads during that time, which is completely unacceptable.
- The report is aimed to focus on the risk to everyone on the road and to hopefully lead to a debate about how best to achieve Vision Zero – no road crash victims on our roads.
‘30 years of RoadPeace, Where are we and where are we going with road danger reduction?’ is available here: RoadPeace Road Danger Reduction Report
RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims today (20/11/22) publishes a report with Liverpool John Moores University to highlight the risks on our roads over the 30 years since the charity was founded.
World Day of Remembrance (WDR) began in 1995 as a day to remember all of those who have died or been injured as a result of a road traffic collision. It is now recognised by the United Nations and commemorated worldwide by governments and NGOs, thanks in part to the work of RoadPeace.
To commemorate this year’s WDR and the 30th anniversary of RoadPeace, Dr Adam Snow of Liverpool John Moores University has researched the risk on our roads since the foundation of RoadPeace.
Dr. Snow’s research, published in 30 years of RoadPeace, Where are we and where are we going with road danger reduction? – sets out that 81,315 people have been killed on British roads between the start of 1992 and the end of 2021.
1,245,833 people have been seriously injured and a further 6 million have received a minor injury as a result of a road traffic collision. This represents over 7 people a day dying as a result of a road traffic collision during this period. If serious injury is included, then every 12 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured as a result of a Road Traffic Collision.
In a fatal road traffic collision, a wife, husband, child, parent, grandparent, partner, or friend has to negotiate the post-crash world of loss, grief, inquests, police investigations, court appearances, sentencing hearings, legal action, dealing with all the administrative matters that are inevitable when someone dies. Having to relive the moment and its build-up multiple times as the police, family liaison officers, coroners’ officers, lawyers, insurance companies, family, friends, and colleagues ask questions about the collision and the deceased, adds to the trauma experienced.
Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace, said:
‘It is heart breaking and shaming that society seems willing to accept this level of trauma and horror. Drivers and their behaviour are the main cause, and we need to do so much better.
The figures contained in this report are completely unacceptable and highlight the risk to everyone on the road. We hope it will encourage a serious and informed debate about how best to achieve Vision Zero – no road crash victims on our roads.’
Added to this pain and misery caused to the victims and families of those killed and injured on the road, £11 billion per year is lost due to these collisions.
Danger on British roads, for some, has improved since 1992. Annual fatality rates have fallen from 4229 to 1752 in 2019 (due to reduced traffic as a result of the Covid19 lockdowns it is not a like-for-like comparison with 2020 or 2021). However, since 2012 danger on British roads has remained virtually static, and there have been few reductions in the number of people killed or seriously injured each year (from 1754 to 1752 fatalities per year).
The report’s author, Dr Snow, said:
“My report makes for sobering reading, the scale of death and destruction on the road is far higher than it should be. There have been improvements since 1992 in both the number killed or seriously injured, particularly in the period 2004-2011. However, since that period the position has plateaued and is expected to get worse once this year’s statistics are released.
We are still, however, a long way from the aim of Vision Zero. There have only been 43 days out of the 1826 days of the last five years in which there were zero road death days. There have been no consecutive days without a fatal road traffic collision. The worst period was between 15th June 2018 and 21st May 2019 in which every single day had a fatal road traffic collision, totalling 1,639 collisions.
I hope that this report, the first of two research projects, provokes a public debate about our acceptance of the last 30 years’ figures as “normal”. We, the driving public, are responsible for the risk on the road and by changing our attitudes to what is normal and acceptable we can make sustained reductions in death and serious injury, and hopefully, a zero road death day becomes the norm rather than the exception. Much has been achieved since 1992, but we are in danger of being complacent as recent history demonstrates, we need a renewed focus on reducing risk on the road to deliver sustained reductions in death and injury.”
Notes to editors
This is the first part of a larger study looking at the impact of RTCs. This part examines the risk of the road. The ongoing second part of this study will focus on individuals navigating the post-crash system. It will examine the experiences of those who have lost loved ones or had loved ones seriously injured, on the road. In particular, it will examine the role of the justice system and how it affects those caught up in it.
The experience of investigations (both police and coroners), prosecutions, sentencing and expectations of justice will be examined. However, this report focuses on the risk to everyone on the road and hopefully will lead to a debate about how best to achieve Vision Zero.
RoadPeace is the national charity for road crash victims – www.roadpeace.org.
RoadPeace is the national charity for road crash victims in the UK. We provide information and support services to people bereaved or seriously injured in road crashes and engage in evidence-based policy and campaigning work to fight for justice for victims and reduce road danger.
Founded in 1992 by Brigitte Chaudhry MBE (MBE awarded in 2003 for her pioneering work for road crash victims), a bereaved mother whose son was killed by a red light offender, we are a membership organisation whose work is informed by the needs and experiences of road crash victims. RoadPeace is governed by a board of trustees and has a small staff team and a network of active members and volunteers. Our vision is for a world where road danger is not tolerated and where road crash victims receive justice and compassion.
World Day of Remembrance – for more information: https://worlddayofremembrance.org/#top
Updated on: 20 November 2022