The Department for Transport (DfT) recently released the road causalities annual report for 2018 - it made for a frustrating read.
Overall the new figures point to a lack of significant progress towards reducing road deaths. In 2018, 1,784 people were killed on Great Britain’s roads compared to 1,793 in 2017- this represents a reduction of just 1 per cent.
The moderate decrease in the number of accidents may seem like a cause for celebration, however a closer analysis of the reported road causalities figures revealed a concerning increase in accidents involving vulnerable road users.
It is particularly concerning to see an increase in the number of older drivers and riders being killed and also a rise in the number of older road users being killed or seriously injured – which was up by nine per cent.
One reason for this is that more over 60s are waiting longer before giving up driving and driving more miles. The distance covered by drivers aged 70 plus in England has risen markedly – from 1,593 miles per person per year in 2002 to 2,045 in 2016 (an increase of 28%), and approximately 57% of older people in Great Britain hold a full car driving licence.
We would recommend that mature motorists seek refresher training if they are noticing any changes in their driving or riding; in fact, we recommend that all drivers and riders take regular refresher training to keep their skills up to date.
For advice about how to drive safer for longer, visit the RoSPA Older Drivers website.
One of the most alarming trends we uncovered in the DfT figures was the increase in the number of fatal accidents involving child pedestrians- number of child pedestrians killed in road accidents have risen from 22 in 2017 to 28 in 2018.
This came as little surprise to us, as earlier this year a YouGov survey commissioned by RoSPA, identified a need for an increase of road safety training provision for under-11s.
Results from the survey revealed that 49 per cent of parents said their children have not had any guidance about how to be road safe. The study also revealed that nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) would like to see more practical pedestrian training being given to their children.
RoSPA has developed a free, practical pedestrian training pack for teachers of children in years 3 and 4 who don’t have access to a road safety officer, to help them deliver training in this vital life skill.
The DfT report also revealed that the number of motorcyclists killed on Great Britain’s roads rose from 349 in 2017 to 354 in 2018. RoSPA offers advanced driver and rider training which aims to reduce road accidents by encouraging an interest in road safety and by improving driving and riding standards, knowledge and skills.
The Reported Road Causalities report 2018 reveals a mixed picture of stalled progress and worsening accident rates among some groups of road users. However, in Scotland the number of deaths on the road are falling, and while in Wales the numbers have hovered around the same level since 2014, they are half of what they were in 2004.
In light of this, RoSPA recommends that the Government takes a lead from Scotland and Wales and adopt road safety targets across England to push down the number of deaths and casualties.
Posted: 10/2/2019 10:58:22 AM