IAM RoadSmart concerned by lack of progress in road deaths – and calls for a new focus on driver behaviour

Car Crash UK

IAM RoadSmart has expressed its disappointment in yet another year without progress in the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the roads in the UK.

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.

This morning (27 September) the Department of Transport announced that there was 1793 reported road deaths in 2017, an increase of 1 on 2016 (reference 1).

There were 24,831 people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents in 2017 and 170,993 casualties of all severities.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Although the number of casualties of all severities in reported road traffic accidents in 2017 is 6% lower than in 2016 and is the lowest level on record, the number of fatalities has increased, albeit by just 1.

“We appear to have reached a hard core of human behaviour related crashes that requires much more focus on driver training and quality if we are to make progress towards a long term vision of zero deaths on our roads. Road safety in the UK seems to be bumping along the floor with yet another year without real improvement in key fatal injury statistics.

“With seven 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. More incentives for post-test training, consistent enforcement of new motoring laws, accelerating the uptake of AEB (autonomous emergency braking) equipped cars and promoting best practice in driving for work are just a few examples of the quick gains that could be achieved.”

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