The Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2013 (RRCGB) Annual Report shows a decrease in road deaths by 2% compared with 2012. This is the lowest figure since national records began in 1926.
Meanwhile the number of people seriously injured decreased by 6% to 21,657 compared to 2012 and the total number of casualties in road accidents reported to the police in 2013 was 183,670, down 6% from 2012 total. Also positive was the news that pedal cyclists’ deaths decreased by 8% to 109 in 2013, compared to 118 in 2012.
However, fatalities on motorways increased by 14% from 88 to 100 whilst vans and LGVs fatalities increased by 12% from 33 to 37. In addition motorcycle fatalities on motorways increased by 250% from 4 to 14, child pedestrian fatalities increased by 30% from 20 to 26 and killed and serious injuries for all road users in deprived areas increased by 5%.
IAM’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig said: ‘The IAM believe the increase in van and motorway deaths are linked to the upturn in the economy and the clear signs that our roads are starting to get busier again.
‘This is worrying as vans are a growing part of our traffic mix as companies grow and more and more people become self-employed. What we don’t want to see are the stresses and strains of making a living translating into more crashes.
‘In 2013 lost output from crashes cost the economy £1.9 Billion. Bad driving costs companies real money and whilst the best employers recognise this and operate proper driver risk management policies many still do not. Responsible employers should not be handing over the keys to a powerful new van without checking licences and asking “am I totally certain this person projects the right mage in my branded vehicle?” For the self-employed downtime caused by accidents could mean the difference between profit and loss.’