6. Conclusion

6. Conclusion

This report has analysed data relating to the 903 fatal collisions that occurred on Scotland’s road network from 2015-2020.

The contributory factors for each collision have been determined and potential countermeasures identified which could have prevented collisions from occurring or reduced the injury severity.

The findings of this research will allow pre-emptive action to be taken by Police Scotland, Transport Scotland and relevant partners, with the aim of influencing the outcome of future collisions with similar characteristics.

Almost all fatal collisions involved a ‘People’ contributory factor exemplifying the effect human error and behaviour have on the occurrence of a fatal collision. ‘Vehicle’ and ‘Road’ contributory factors were relevant to a number of fatal collisions but at a significantly lower rate and very rarely without a ‘People’ element also present.

Conversely, a ‘Vehicle’ countermeasure was applicable to almost all fatal collisions and ‘Road’ countermeasures in a significantly large number. While ‘People’ countermeasures were also applicable in most fatal collisions, this exemplifies the role safer vehicles and safer roads have to play in fatality prevention and counteracting human fallibility.

The depth of the data captured for this report has enabled detailed analysis of fatal collisions and provided valuable insight into both causation and potential prevention.

Recommendations, aligned to the pillars of the Safe System, are provided below, highlighting action to be considered.

The cost and feasibility of these have not been considered at this stage, therefore future cost-benefit analysis will be required to ensure any implementation is practical, possible and cost-effective.

It is also recommended similar analysis be undertaken on available data for fatal collisions that have occurred in 2021 and 2022, to further enhance the available picture.

A process should be established to allow for the on-going assessment of fatal collisions as and when they occur. This will continually add to the evidence base and assist with identifying countermeasures, monitoring trends over time and evaluating the effectiveness of implemented countermeasures in the long term.