Statistics concerning the safety of UK roads for the period 2010-11 have recently been published. The government has come under fire after the total number of deaths caused by road traffic accidents (RTAs) has risen for the first time in seven years.
In brief, 1,901 lives were lost on our roads in 2010-11, an increase of 51 on the previous count. Pedestrian deaths rose to 453, a 12% rise on the previous year, and there’s grim reading for younger drivers too: 27% of young men aged 17-19 are involved in a RTA within the first year of passing their test and 283 individuals aged 16-25 were killed during 2010.
The House of Commons Transport Committee, after pointing out that RTAs are the main cause of death among young people in this country, has rounded on the government and called them to show more leadership.
Certainly, the long-mooted increase in the motorway speed limit needs to be looked at carefully. I would question whether giving motorists carte blanche to drive even faster – at a time when figures suggest our roads have become more dangerous – is a really good idea.
To put keep figures in perspective, deaths and serious injuries are still below the 2009 figures and the number of fatalities was the second lowest since the 1930s. So it remains to be seen whether 2010-11 was merely a blip, or whether we should be concerned about the start of a downward spiral.
If you have been seriously injured in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, please contact us today to discuss your claim free of charge with a specialist Road Traffic Accident Solicitor.