Killer crashes: Fatal road traffic accidents in the UK

Road traffic accidents are responsible for over 3000 deaths per year in the UK, according to Department for Transport (2004a) figures. Although progress is being made in a number of areas, vehicle occupant fatalities have not been falling in line with casualty reduction targets for the year 2010. A sample of 1185 fatal vehicle occupant cases was considered, from ten UK police forces, from the years 1994-2005 inclusive. The main findings were: (1) over 65% of the accidents examined involved driving at excessive speed, a driver in excess of the legal alcohol limit, or the failure to wear a seat belt by a fatality, or some combination of these. (2) Young drivers have the great majority of their accidents by losing control on bends or curves, typically at night in rural areas and/or while driving for 'leisure' purposes. These accidents show high levels of speeding, alcohol involvement and recklessness. (3) Older drivers had fewer accidents, but those fatalities they were involved in tended to involve misjudgement and perceptual errors in 'right of way' collisions, typically in the daytime on rural rather than urban roads. Blameworthy right of way errors were notably high for drivers aged over 65 years, as a proportion of total fatal accidents in that age group.


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  • Accession Number: 01153227
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 9 2010 11:55AM