The latest figures on injuries caused by road traffic accidents for 2018 have been published by Transport Scotland on 19 June 2019. The figures reveal a concerning picture, at least in relation to the number of deaths on our roads, which have increased by 15 in 2018 when compared with 2017. The figure for the year stands at 160 people.
This increase has been reached even though the overall figure for the number of people injured on our roads in Scotland has dropped by an impressive 10% year on year. Further, the number of casualties has fallen by 11% to 8,402. This represents the lowest ever figure recorded. On children, there were 756 casualties in 2018, which shows a decrease of 16% when compared with 2017. On cycling, there were 6 deaths as against 5 in 2017. The number injured fell from 171 to 156. The number of pedestrians injured decreased from 379 in 2017 to 362 in 2018.
The 42 page publication from Transport Scotland contains very detailed information on every aspect of road traffic statistics, not only in 2018 but dating back to 1950. What is inescapable from the figures is that in the last 68 years, since records began, we have generally seen a steady decrease in the number of casualties on our roads. Interestingly, in relation to those casualties in the bracket of slightly injured, the figure has fluctuated between 17,000 and 21,000 between 1970 and late 1990 but thereafter, we have seen a fall in numbers since 1997. Further, in relation to those killed on our roads, there has been a noticeable downward trend since 1978, although, the figures from 2007 to 2018 have fluctuated between 314 in 2006 down to 115 in 2017.
The reasons for the general downward trend are, of course, many and varied. On the one hand, given the general increase in the number of cars on the road, their increased power size and speed one may well have expected to have seen the number of casualties increase as opposed to decrease. Against that, there are, of course, factors which will have helped reduce the number of accidents, such as, better awareness of road safety by drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists; safer and more sophisticated vehicles with many safety features; different types of traffic calming measures - particularly in cities and around vulnerable areas, such as schools and sports centres; a zero tolerance approach by the courts when it comes to speeding, careless and dangerous driving; and undoubtedly, an element of better health of our drivers as well as better response time and care by the medical teams, all of which will have contributed to reducing the number of deaths over recent years.
That said, the figures suggest that more can be done to further reduce the level of casualties on our roads. It will never be possible to reduce the casualties down to zero, unless of course, the much-acclaimed self-drive cars appear on our roads far quicker than is anticipated and prove to be full proof. It is a credit to the Scottish Government that they have set out tough targets for the reduction of casualties on our roads and are currently on target in a number of key categories to reduce the current levels by 2020.
Here at Calio Claims, we have a specialist team with expertise in dealing with claims to recover damages to compensate for the many injuries which can be sustained in a road traffic accident. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, we can assist in achieving the very best result for you by obtaining compensation from the third-party insurers. For those involved in more serious accidents and with life threatening injuries, we can also offer support by instructing the appropriate experts for your medical care and experts to advise on the care you will require going forward.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury and think that you may have a claim, please contact us to discuss the matter on 0800 988 8082 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our specialist team will get back to you right away.