Road casualties remain steady in 2021

Transport Scotland Statisticians today released provisional figures for road casualties showing a slight drop in 2021. The total casualty figures and fatality figures for 2021 are the lowest since annual records began. However, they are broadly similar to the previous lows recorded in 2020.

The figures show the total number of casualties fell by 0.5% between 2020 and 2021 (from 5,047 to 5,023), the lowest number since annual records began in 1950. One hundred and thirty nine people were killed in reported road accidents in Scotland in 2021, two fewer than in 2020, and also the lowest number since annual records began. The number of people seriously injured was 1,596, 65 (4%) more than 2020.

Like the figures for 2020, the 2021 casualty numbers will have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated impacts on travel. Most notably, these impacts included the ‘second lockdown’, which ran from 5 January 2021 to April 2021, and incorporated a legal requirement forbidding anyone from leaving their home except for essential purposes.

Compared to 2020, there were falls in reported casualties of 7% for pedestrians, 18% for pedal cyclists, and 8% for bus and coach users. However, there were increases in car casualties of 3% and motorcyclist casualties of 8%.

Scotland’s current Road Safety Framework, contains four national targets for casualty reductions due for delivery in 2030. These targets compare performance to a 2014-2018 baseline.


2030 target reduction

2021 achieved reduction

People killed



People seriously injured



Children (aged < 16) killed



Children (aged < 16) seriously injured



The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


The publication presents provisional statistics of injury road accidents (i.e. road accidents in which one or more people were killed or injured) in Scotland in 2021. Final figures will be published in Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2021 in October.

The Scottish Government recently published a new Road Safety Framework to 2030.

Further information on Transport and Travel statistics within Scotland can be accessed at Transport Scotland statistical publications.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland.   

Published 25 May 2022 Tags