Road accidents rise for first time since 1997

ALARMING: The number of people killed or injured on UK roads rose for the first time in 18 years.
ALARMING: The number of people killed or injured on UK roads rose for the first time in 18 years.
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Drastic steps must be taken to reverse an increase in the death toll on UK roads for the first time in 18 years.

That’s the message from a road safety charity after the total number of people who were killed or injured on the roads rose for the first time since 1997.

These figures are very worrying, especially the fact that driver behaviour remains the top cause of crashes.

Latest government figures show that there were 1,775 road deaths reported in 2014 - a four per cent rise on the previous year.

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The Department of Transport statistics also revealed the number of people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents rose by five per cent to 22,807 last year.

It comes after a 44-year-old motorcyclist died following a crash with a refuse lorry at Tingley in Leeds earlier this month.

There was a total of 194,777 people killed or injured in road accidents last year and the most common factor which led to crashes was motorists failing to look properly.

Now the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is urging the government to introduce road safety targets to ensure the death toll falls.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “These figures are very worrying, especially the fact that driver behaviour remains the top cause of crashes.

“We call again for road safety targets to be reintroduced – they are an internationally recognised way of ensuring reductions are measured and achieved.”

Mr Greig said more also needed to be done to protect pedestrians.

He said: “There also must be a greater focus on driver and rider quality and incentives for companies and individuals to continuously develop their skills.

“There also needs to be a focus on tackling pedestrian deaths, an area which is often ignored.

“We believe car technology and design should now shift from occupant protection to protecting the vulnerable outside cars.”

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT STATS

Figures released by the Department of Transport show that the number of people killed or injured on UK roads last year rose for the first time since 1997.

The statistics show:

A total of 194,477 people were killed or injured in reported road accidents in 2014.

There were 1,775 road deaths in 2014, an increase of four per cent compared with 2013.

The number of people seriously injured in road accidents increased by five per cent to 22,807 in 2014.

The leading cause of accidents was motorists failing to look properly.

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