30 Sep 2016

Latest Analysis for Road Accidents in the UK 2015

The Department for Transport (DfT) has released the latest data analysis for road accidents and safety statistics in the UK for 2015. There is a great deal of information available, allowing you to drill down into the whys and the wherefores of these accidents and to identify trends and patterns when comparing to previous years. Perhaps the best starting point for an overview of all the data is via here, which gives a detailed summary of personal injury accident statistics on public roads in Great Britain for 2015 and contributory factors.



In summary, reported road casualties, compared with 2014, show:
• 3% decrease in road deaths to 1,730. This is the second lowest annual total on record. There were 45% fewer fatalities in 2015 than a decade earlier in 2006.
• 3% decrease in seriously injured to 22,144
• 4% decrease in casualties of all severities to 186,189
• Vehicle traffic levels increased by 1.6% in 2015

Analysis shows that the UK remains one of the safest countries in the world when it comes to road safety. The United Kingdom as a whole had 27.7 deaths per million inhabitants in 2015. The only European countries with a better rate than this in 2015 were Sweden (with 26.6), Malta (with 25.6), and Norway (with 22.6).

In order to drill down into the data, this link provides a list of all available tables, allowing you to find the data of most interest to yourself.

At Good to Go Safety we have developed tagging and checklist systems for cars, vans and trailers to encourage pre-drive visual checks of vehicles. Pre-drive inspections help to spot defects before they develop into something more serious and allow faults to be rectified before commencing a journey – this not only improves safety but can also reduce maintenance costs and ensure compliance with health and safety regulations and best-practice guidelines.

For this reason I’ve delved into the data focusing on contributory factors in reported accidents to find out what effect faulty vehicles can have on those statistics. We see that 2% of all fatalities (that’s 35 deaths) and accidents (1,830) can be attributed to vehicle defects; the vast majority of which would be easily spotted during a pre-drive walk-around inspection. Checking tyres, lights, mirrors etc are simple inspections that would quickly identify issues with little technical knowledge required. When you see the numbers and consider the impact on the families of those involved it is hard to ignore the importance of routine maintenance and servicing for vehicles.

The full table of contributory factors can be found here.


It is interesting to see the numbers attributed to trailers and a secondary table below further highlights the increased risk of an accident when towing. Perhaps surprisingly, most reported accidents involving towing occurred in the dry.

It is interesting that both the UK and Sweden have been consistently at the head of the road safety table for a number of years – perhaps this is one area where Sweden have taken a proactive lead over the UK. In Sweden trailers must be registered and pass a regular roadworthiness test. In 2010 they tested 236,876 light trailers (up to 3.5 tons). Only 62% passed the test. Of the 38% that failed, 24% had severe defects, the most common in the braking system. The UK does not currently include a similar testing process and as such self-regulation should be given serious consideration to ensure all trailers are safe to use and correctly loaded.




All in all, the statistics are reassuringly positive that despite the increased number of vehicles on the road, the number of fatalities and accidents continue to fall – we’ve just looked at a couple of factors, there are many more to consider and we’d ask you to do so and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. With continued advancement in vehicle design, smart vehicles and eventually ‘driverless’ cars – it will be interesting to see what impact these innovations will have upon the accident statistics we see today – we guess only time will tell. In the meantime we will continue to offer our own small contribution to driving down these figures and encouraging drivers to carry out pre-drive checks of their vehicles and trailers. Find out more about our award winning inspections systems for trailers and fleet vehicles at www.goodtogosafety.co.uk

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