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Over 131,000 reported road traffic accident casualties last year despite decrease in traffic due to lockdown

View profile for Sarah Masters
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Government data has revealed that there were 131,200 casualties of all severities in the year ending June 2020, a decrease of 16% compared to the previous year.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and first lockdown which started in March 2020 is reflected in the estimated figures reported by the Government. A 14% reduction of traffic was also seen over this same period.

The Government statistics reveal that an estimated 1,580 people sadly lost their lives on our roads in the year ending June 2020. This is a 14% decrease compared to 2019 when there were 1,827 fatalities. Each death on our roads is one too many as far as I am concerned. Brake, the road safety charity, is calling for the Government to be bolder in its approach to road safety with targets to eliminate death and serious injury from the roads for good.

In January and February 2020, the number of casualties remained broadly consistent with those reported in 2019 but the data reveals that there were considerable reductions from March to June 2020, following the lockdown travel restrictions and COVID-19 pandemic. In April alone, there was a decrease of 67% of casualties compared to the same month in 2019.

Whilst the number of road users decreased in the first lockdown, a research paper has revealed that there were clear changes in the speed people were travelling on our roads, especially in rural areas. The number of drivers travelling 15mph above the limit increased more on countryside roads than it did in our towns and cities. Whilst the large drop in traffic seems to have resulted in fewer collisions overall, the higher speeds have meant that injuries suffered by those who did have collisions were more serious and unfortunately, more likely to be fatal.

The provisional annual results are due to be published in June 2021. Whilst there aren’t many positives to come out of the pandemic and lockdown, the reduction in road traffic accident causalities is welcomed news.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault then please contact our personal injury solicitors today on 0161 696 6235 to discuss if you could be entitled to claim compensation.