IAM RoadSmart is disappointed with another year of negligible overall progress in the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the roads in the UK and suggests drivers must take their share of the blame.
IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, said that although cars are getting safer and there has been a step change in new road investment, careless human behaviour and increasing traffic levels are cancelling this out.
Yesterday, the Department of Transport announced 1,792 road deaths in 2016, an increase of four per cent on 2015 – this is the highest total since 2011.
There were 24,101 people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents in 2016. There were a total of 181,384 casualties of all severities in 2016, around three per cent lower than 2015 and the lowest level on record.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said, “Road safety in the UK seems to be bumping along the floor with yet another year without improvement in key fatal and serious injury statistics.
“With six years without progress it is clear that we have an increasingly complex picture of good news such as safer cars and investment in new roads, being cancelled out by more traffic and a hard core of human behaviour issues that are the most difficult to tackle.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and it is clear that working in partnership to promote it is the key to returning to long term downward trends. Accelerating the uptake of autonomous emergency braking equipped cars and promoting best practice in driving for work are just two examples where quick gains could be made.”
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams added, “Road fatalities in Great Britain are now higher than at any time in the last five years. While the statisticians say the rise isn’t significant, every life lost on our roads is surely one too many.
“The report clearly states that ‘there is unlikely to be as large falls in casualties as there were earlier on without further significant interventions.’ This is surely an admission that more could, and should, be done to save lives. Simply because there is more traffic on our roads does not mean that we should accept that road deaths will inevitably go up.”