2. Key Findings

2. Key Findings

The main contributory factors which influenced fatal collisions were people being careless, reckless or in a hurry, failing to look properly and losing control of their vehicle. Nonetheless, analysis identified that a combination of Road, Vehicle and People countermeasures (CMs) were required in order to mitigate the risk of the collision taking place, or reduce the severity of the collision.

Collision Avoidance

Training to improve hazard perception and Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS) were identified to be the most significant countermeasures for collision avoidance.

Severity Reduction

Seatbelt use and improved occupant/pedestrian secondary safety were found to be most effective in severity reduction.

Avoidance and Severity Reduction

Reduction in speed limits was a countermeasure identified most frequently for both avoidance and severity reduction.

Social Deprivation

Links between social deprivation and driving behaviour were identified, with those from more deprived areas more commonly linked to drink and drug driving, as well as risk taking behaviour such as speeding, aggressive driving, racing and using a vehicle in the course of crime.

This requires a wider public health approach to tackle the root causes of social deprivation and related inequalities.

Additionally, the lack of safe, sustainable and affordable public transport and the lack of adequate, high quality cycling infrastructure were also significant contributors to road safety. All of which require to be addressed to realistically achieve 2050 targets.

Previous Convictions

A large number of drivers/riders at fault had previous convictions for driving related offences including dangerous driving, careless driving, drink driving and speeding. Some had multiple convictions prior to being involved in a fatal collision and a number went on to commit further offences following a fatal collision.

A wider review of penalties and criminal justice is required to ensure a robust preventative and enforcement strategy to address this behaviour.

Young Drivers

A large number of young drivers (390 drivers aged between 16 and 35) were found to be at fault for the fatal collisions and were also more frequently killed as passengers when being driven by peers around the same age.

They often displayed risky behaviour, travelling too fast, getting distracted, drink-driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

A wide ranging, multi-tiered approach is required to address this behaviour, from consideration of a Progressive Licensing Regime to inclusion of young drivers who have been involved in collisions in a Young Drivers Working Group to identify the best solutions to tackle the issue.

Older Drivers

Contributory factors were commonly identified relating to health and eyesight issues and delayed reaction times for older drivers. A whole system approach is required to review processes around notification by family members, GPs and opticians of fitness to drive, mandatory cognitive assessments and use of assessment simulators.

This report provides more detail on all collision data, contributory factors and countermeasures and provides recommendations for police and partners to try to reduce risk and make Scotland’s roads safer.

The statistical key findings, extracted from the analysis below, are provided in the In-Depth Fatalities Study 2015 – 2020 Executive Summary.