UK Road Casualties: Statistics

Car Accident Statistics - UK
Car Accident Statistics - UK

It is no secret that driving can be incredibly dangerous and each year there are many accidents, injuries and even deaths. There have recently been calls made to the new transport secretary Grant Shapps to make road safety a priority after statistics show that there has not been a significant reduction in road deaths for many years. Despite this, figures also reveal that Britain has the safest roads in Europe.

Here is a closer look at these important statistics.


In 2018 there were 1,782 people that were killed on the roads compared to 1,793 in 2017 – this is a reduction of just 1% year-on-year and this has been consistent since 2012. While there are positives to this there are calls to take action to reduce this figure significantly.


It is also worth looking at casualties as a whole – this includes deaths, serious injuries and slight injuries. There were a total of 160,378 casualties in 2018 which is 6% less than in 2017 and is the lowest level on record. This represents a reduction of almost a third compared to 10 years ago. These statistics are what have to lead to British roads being named Europe’s safest by the European Commission earlier this year. Despite this,
there are still many car accident claims made each year due to injuries suffered on the roads which can change lives.

Safety Targets

It is the fact that the number of fatalities has been so flat since 2010 that is causing concern especially since there was a downward trend between 2006 and 2010. There has been a call for the return of safety targets to cut the number of casualties each year – something that was removed in 2010. There are currently no plans to implement new targets but there has been an updated road safety action plan designed to increase safety on Britains roads.

Action Plan Updates

The main update to this action plan (one of 74 actions) is to introduce penalty points for motorists caught not wearing a safety belt – 2017 stats showed that a quarter of fatalities were not wearing their seat belt. Other actions include in-car breathalysers for known drink-drivers, graduated licenses and others.

While Britain has the safest roads in Europe with fewer annual fatalities than other countries, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done particularly when there has
been no significant reduction in fatalities for a number of years. Car accidents can forever change lives and there has been a lot of pressure placed on the new Transport
Secretary to take strong action to reduce the number of fatalities and casualties each year so that the roads are even safer for all users.