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November 29th 2019

Road Traffic Accidents

Figures showing rise in UK road deaths between January and June are a ‘timely reminder’ to take extra care over winter months

Jane Woodcock

Jane Woodcock

Senior Legal Executive and Head of Personal Injury

Figures showing rise in UK road deaths between January and June are a ‘timely reminder’ to take extra care over winter months

Newly released figures which have shown there was an 11% increase in deaths on the UK’s roads over the first six months of 2019 have provided a ‘timely reminder’ of the extra care required over the coming winter months.

Newly released figures which have shown there was an 11% increase in deaths on the UK’s roads over the first six months of 2019 have provided a ‘timely reminder’ of the extra care required over the coming winter months.

Figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) have shown that over a 12 month period to the end of June 2019, there were 27,820 incidents of people being killed or seriously injured (KSI) reported to UK police forces.

This compares to 26,724 in the year ending June 2018, a rise the DfT admits is a ‘statistically significant’ increase of four per cent.

However, perhaps more concerning are provisional figures which suggest there were 880 deaths on the roads between January and the end of June this year – a rise of 11% on the figure of 785 over the same period in 2018.

It is the highest number of people killed on the roads in the UK between January and June for eight years.

An estimated 13,420 people were killed or seriously injured over the same period, again up from 12,897 in 2018.

Although the DfT says half-yearly casualty figures are ‘prone to fluctuation’, Jane Woodcock, head of personal injury at Hudgell Solicitors, say they act as a timely reminder as we head towards the most difficult few months on the roads.

“Any increase in the number of people being killed and seriously injured on UK roads is a matter for concern and these figures are a stark warning ahead of wintery conditions arriving,” she said.

“Sadly we see an increase between November and March in terms of people coming to us for help after suffering serious injuries on the roads, so the release of these new figures certainly act as a timely reminder just how dangerous the roads can be throughout the winter months.

“We recognised that the DfT has said that half-year figures can fluctuate and are impacted upon by many factors, but the figures show that the number of people killed in the first six months of this year were the highest since 2011. That has to be a concern.

“Only this week The Met Office has been forecasting bitterly cold and freezing conditions for the coming weeks, with possible snow in some areas of the country.

“There have also been lots of reports in the media about how the winter is expected to be the worst we have had for many years.

“People need to be ready for the change in conditions. That means drivers should ensure their cars are ready for winter, that they have equipment such as ice-scrapers and deicers ready, that they allow extra time to ensure car windscreens are completely clear and visible before setting off, and be prepared to take longer for journeys by driving at slower speeds.

“Similarly cyclists and pedestrians must take extra care and be aware that over the coming months, they often may not be visible to motorists.

“It has to be a collective effort from all on the roads to reduce casualty numbers.”

  • The midyear 2019 provisional figures are based on complete (January to June 2019) figures provided by 41 police authorities with partial data for two authorities. Data are incomplete for June 2019 for Police Scotland and Thames Valley Police.

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