The DfT themselves have come to the conclusion that many have thought for a couple of years; we are in a period of relatively little change in road safety performance. They state, 'The evidence, points towards Britain being in a period when the fatality numbers are fairly stable and most of the changes relate random variation '
. They follow up later in the report saying, ‘there is no net change in road safety specifically relating to road deaths in Britain at the moment.’
So is this the whole story or is something else going in in the statistics that can identify changes in road safety performance? Well, car occupant casualties has fallen when 2015 is compared to the longer-term trend. Fatalities are down 8% as are slightly injured casualties. This is against a background of a 3% increase in traffic so absolute and relative safety levels are improving.
This is not the case for vulnerable road users. Pedestrians haven’t done as well with only a 4% drop in fatalities and motorcyclists deaths have increased by 4% compared to the 10-14 average. Figures for cyclists are mixed with a large drop in deaths, but they form a relatively small sample size compared to the other two groups.
So within this period of stability we are actually seeing improvements for the most common type of casualty, car occupants, but others are improving at a slower rate or are increasing.