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The number of cars on the road has increased steadily over the last few decades, so you'd expect the number of road accidents to have increased along with it, but think again. We explore changes in the number of road accidents and vehicle-related offences in England and Wales over time.

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BUMPER TO BUMPER


Traffic Accidents in England and Wales Over Time


The number of cars on the road has increased steadily over the last few decades. So would you expect the number of road accidents and casualties to have increased along with it? Think again. We outline some surprising changes in the number of accidents and vehicle-related offences in England and Wales over time.


Reported Road Casualties On the Decline

Despite increased road traffic, in just 10 years the rate of road casualties in England and Wales has been cut nearly in half. 

Year

Casualty Rate Per Billion Vehicle Miles

2000

1,094

2001

1,053

2002

992

2003

945

2004

899

2005

866

2006

812

2007

771

2008

723

2009

702

2010

670




Serious Injuries and Fatalities Fall Sharply


Though traffic grew by 20 per cent between 1990 and 2010, serious injuries and fatalities fell dramatically.

2010 Per Cent Change from 1990
All Road Casualties 208,648 -39%
People Killed 1,850 -65%
People Seriously Injured 22,660 -63%
People Slightly Injured 184,138 -33%


Where Fatalities Occur


Rural roads account for more than half of accident-related fatalities in England and WAles. Urban roads account for roughly one-third.

40% Rural A Roads
32% Urban Roads
22% Other Rural Roads
6% Motorways


Offence Types


Though recently there have been fewer vehicle-related offences compared to those in 2000, certain offences are on the rise such as speeding and careless or drunken driving.

Total Offences (Except Obstruction, Waiting, and Parking)
2000 = 2,911,000
2009 = 2,719,000

Motor Vehicle Offences in 2000


40% Speed limit offences
27% Licence, insurance, and record-keeping offences
9% Other offences
8% Vehicle test and condition offences
8% Neglect of traffic signs, directions, and pedestrian rights
6% Dangerous, careless, or drunken driving
1% Unauthorized taking or theft of motor vehicle
1% Accident offences


Motor Vehicle Offences in 2009


47% Speed limit offences
18% Licence, insurance, and record-keeping offences
11% Dangerous, careless, or drunken driving
10% Other offences
4% Vehicle test and condition offences
8% Neglect of traffic signs, directions, and pedestrian rights
1% Unauthorized taking or theft of motor vehicle
1% Accident offences


Roadside Breath Tests on the Rise


Though the number of roadside breath tests has risen significantly over the last 10 years, the pass rate of those being tested is down slightly.


Roadside Screening Breath Tests


2001 624,000
2009 813,000


Positive/Refused Roadside Breath Tests of all Tests Given


2001 16%
2009 12%


SOURCES: DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT
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FOR REFERENCE ONLY

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/statistics/releases/transport-statistics-great-britain-2011/tsgb-2011-summaries.pdf
Chapter 8


TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS IN THE UK  
 --- Incidence of traffic accidents over time, by transport method and severity of accidents


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