This publication presents detailed statistics about the circumstances of personal injury road accidents in Scotland that were reported by the police using the Stats 19 statistical returns (described in more detail in Appendix B). Each accident is classified according to the severity of the injury to the most seriously injured person involved in the accident. These statistics are used to inform public debate and support policy on road safety (through education and engineering programs).

This publication also includes statistics related to further analysis on specific road safety topics. For example:

  • Valuation of road accident and casualties: Table 9 presents estimates of the value of preventing reported road accidents in GB and Scotland, based on DfT analysis.
  • Drink drive estimates: Table 22 presents estimates of the levels of accidents and casualties involving drivers & riders with illegal alcohol levels using Procurator Fiscal data.

In addition to the statistical tables and commentary the publication contains 4 articles discussing further analysis of the statistics:

  • Article 1 examines progress towards casualty reduction targets;
  • Article 2 Priorities in Scotland's road safety Framework to 2020 an assessment of relative levels and trends;
  • Article 3 compares the police Stats 19 data with other sources;
  • Article 4 describes contributory factors attributed to reported road accidents and casualties.

Comparisons with death registrations show that very few any, fatal accidents do not become known to the police. However, there will be non-fatal injury accidents that are not reported by the public to the police, and are therefore not counted in these statistics because the police can only include in their returns details of the accidents of which they are aware. Article 3 looks at other sources [and describes analysis Transport Statistics and DfT have carried out, attempting to estimate the level of under-counting.]

Review of Stats 19

National & local government police forces across Great Britain work closely to achieve an agreed standard for the system for collecting & processing statistics on road accidents involving personal injury. The statistics are subject to regular reviews as part of the continued drive to improve quality and meet user needs whilst minimising the burden of collection. The results of the recent review, including results of the public consultation were published by the DfT on 5 August 2010. The review made a number of recommendations for change to the process, coverage and definition of the Stats 19 collection system (to be implemented by 2013). Details can be found at:

UK Statistics Authority assessment

These statistics were assessed during the summer of 2010 by the UKSA against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Their final report is published on their website at

Further details on the role of the UKSA and the assessment process can be found at:

The status of the statistics

Most of the data used in this publication were extracted from the Road Accidents statistical database on the 5 September 2012. The statistics given here may differ slightly from those published elsewhere (e.g. provisional figures published in Key Road Casualty Statistics in June) because they were extracted on a different date and wouldn't incorporate any later changes (e.g. due to late returns or late corrections). Any late returns will be incorporated into the next available publication

The information held in the Scottish Government's Road Accident Statistics database was collected by the police following each accident, and subsequently reported to the Government. The Scottish Government's statistics may differ slightly from the local authorities as changes or corrections that local authorities may have made, for use at local level, to their own data may not always be accounted for in the Scottish Government database.

The years covered in the tables

Some tables present a time series so that any trends can be identified. However, more detailed tables provide figures in the form of 5-year annual averages (e.g. 2007-2011), and do not present figures for the latest single year. This smoothes out levels of variation often present with low numbers of accidents and casualties. If readers require versions of the detailed tables for single years, these can be provided on request.

Road casualty reduction targets

In many of the tables, the latest figures are compared with the annual averages for 2004-08. This is to allow comparison against the 2020 Scottish specific casualty reduction targets published within the Scottish Road Safety Framework in 2009.

Article 1 discusses these targets in more detail, monitoring progress and exploring differences between modes of travel.

Article 2 assesses the relative levels and trends in the priorities set up in 'Scotland's road safety framework to 2020'.

Estimates of the total volume of road traffic

Some tables include estimates of traffic volumes, or accident or casualty rates calculated from them. The traffic estimates were provided by the Department for Transport (DfT), which produces estimates of the total volume of road traffic for Scotland and for other parts of Great Britain. Care should be taken when using these estimates and a detailed description can be found in Appendix D of this publication.

Other Scottish Transport Statistics

Reported Road Casualties Scotland is one of a series of Transport Statistics publications, most of which focus on particular aspects of transport and cover them in depth. These can be found at

We welcome suggestions for improving the usefulness of the data and the publications. Comments and enquiries should be sent to the address below.

Matt Perkins

Transport Statistics
Transport Scotland
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Telephone: 0131 244 7254