Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2013
Figure 1 Reported accidents by severity, 1966 to 2013
1. Trends in the reported numbers of Injury Road Accidents and Casualties
1.1 Main Points
Table 1 shows the long-term trends in the reported numbers of injury road accidents and casualties, the population of Scotland, the number of vehicles licensed, the length of the road network and the volume of traffic. Information on the severities of the accidents, and of the injuries suffered by the casualties, is provided in Table 2. The numbers of injury road accidents were first recorded separately in 1966, while the numbers of casualties are available back to 1938. Figures 1 to 7 illustrate the trends in the reported numbers of injury road accidents and casualties including (in some cases) indications of the likely range of random year-to-year variations (see section 1.4). As mentioned in the introduction, injury accidents not reported by the public to the police won't appear in the returns. Note that each accident will result in one or more casualties. For example a fatal accident could result in two fatalities and a serious injury which would count as one accident + 3 casualties.
- In 2013, there were 159 fatal accidents, 5 (3%) fewer than in 2012.
- Serious injury accidents in 2013 decreased by 305 (18%) to 1,430.
- Slight injury accidents fell by 490 (6%) in 2013 to 7,397.
- There were 172 people killed in road accidents in Scotland in 2013, 6 (or 3%) fewer than in 2012.
- 1,672 people were seriously injured in road accidents in 2013, 308 (or 16%) less than in 2012.
- 9,654 people were slightly injured in road accidents in 2013, 909 (or 9%) fewer than in 2012.
- There were a total number of 11,498 casualties in 2013 - 1,223 (or 10%) fewer than in 2012.
In all cases of severity, the figures were the lowest since records began. The reductions in the numbers of accidents and casualties in recent years are notable particularly given the rise in vehicle and subsequent traffic. E.g. in 2013 the number of vehicles licensed in Scotland was about a sixth higher than in 2003 and traffic on Scottish roads was estimated to have grown by four per cent since 2003.
1.2 Reported Accidents
In 1966 there were just over 23,200 injury road accidents and the annual total remained around this level until 1973. Numbers then dropped considerably in 1974 and 1975 to about 20,600. This was the time of a fuel crisis when a national speed limit of 50 mph was introduced and the volume of traffic in Great Britain fell by 3% in 1974. Accident numbers increased again in 1976 and reached a peak of nearly 23,100 in 1979.
In the early 1980s numbers began to fall, and did so particularly sharply in 1983 when the total number of injury accidents fell by 7% in a single year to 19,400, serious accidents fell by 13% to just over 6,400, and fatal accidents fell by 11% to 568. The 1981 Transport Act came into force in 1983 and changed the law relating to drink driving, with the introduction of evidential breath testing. Compulsory front seat belt wearing and new procedures for licensing learner motorcyclists were also introduced in 1983. After 1983 the total number of injury accidents increased again to over 20,600 in 1985, and the number of serious accidents rose to just over 6,500 while fatal accidents continued a downward trend.
By 1987 the total number of injury accidents had fallen to under 18,700, but in 1989 it rose to just over 20,600. 1989 was the most recent peak in the total number of injury accidents. Since 1989, the total number of injury accidents has fallen in 21 out of 24 years, and in 2013 it was at the lowest level ever recorded. The 2013 figure of 8,986 was 800 less than in 2012.
Since the late 1980s, the number of fatal accidents has fallen considerably e.g. from 517 in 1987 to 159 in 2013. For serious accidents, the trend has also been downwards. The number of serious accidents has fallen e.g. from 5,814 in 1989 to 1,430 in 2013 - the lowest number ever recorded. The numbers of slight accidents have not changed as much over the years: oscillating between 12,000 and 15,000 from 1970 to 1998. The most recent peak level was 14,443 in 1990. However, they fell below 12,000 in 1999, and the 2013 figure of 7,397 was the lowest since slight accident numbers were first recorded in 1970.
1.3 Reported Casualties
As the numbers of accidents have fallen, so have the numbers of casualties. Therefore, this section does not repeat the previous section's detailed analysis of how the numbers have changed. Details can be found in Table 2.
In 2013 there were 172 people killed in road accidents in Scotland, a decrease of 3% on 2012. This was the lowest figure recorded. With a few exceptions, figures fell in each year since 1978, showing a clear, steady long-term downward trend, particularly between 1982 and 1994. Since then, figures have been fluctuating around a less pronounced downwards trend. The number in 2013 was 10% below the average for the previous five years (192).
Numbers seriously injured
In 2013 there were 1,672 people seriously injured in road accidents: 308 (16%) less than in 2012. This is the lowest number since annual records began in 1950. The long term trend shows that the number of serious casualties peaked in the early 1970s at around 10,000 and generally fell since the early 1980s. However, there has been some fluctuation around the long-term downwards trend, and appeared to level-off: 1996, 1997 and 1998 were around 4,050. But the downward trend subsequently resumed.
Numbers slightly injured
In 2013 there were 9,654 people slightly injured, 909 (9%) fewer than in 2012, and the lowest number since records began. Between 1970 and 1990, the figures fluctuated between 17,000 and 21,000. The fall between 1990 and 1995 was followed by an apparent levelling-off at around 17-18,000 in each of the years from 1996 to 1999, could have been a continuation of that pattern. However, 2000 to 2013 showed consecutive falls suggesting a continuing downward trend.
Total numbers of casualties
In 2013 there was a total of 11,498 casualties, 1,223 (10%) fewer than in 2012 (The lowest number recorded). Between about 1970 and 1990, the figures fluctuated around a general downward trend. Subsequently, the casualty figures fell markedly from the level of the most recent short-term peak (over 27,000 in both 1989 and 1990), before appearing to level off. However, the downward trend resumed from 1999 to 2013.
Government targets for reductions in the numbers of road accident casualties
Scotland's Road Safety Framework was launched in June 2009. It set out the vision for road safety in Scotland, the main priorities and issues and included Scotland-specific targets and milestones which were adopted from 2010.
Article 1 provides details of progress against the Scottish national casualty reduction targets for 2020. It contains charts and tables for each of the five targets showing the main trends in casualty numbers in comparison to the 2004-08 baseline averages. It also shows the numbers that might be expected in each year up to 2020 if the targets were to be achieved by means of a constant percentage reduction in each year.
The figures are also used to report on the Scottish Government's Scotland Performs National Indicator1: Reduce Deaths on Scotland's Roads. The current performance against this indicator shows performance improving, as the number of fatalities has fallen from 178 in 2012 to 172 in 2013.
In 1987 the UK Government adopted a target to reduce road casualties by one third from the 1981-85 annual average by the year 2000. The number of people killed on the roads in Scotland in 2000 was 49% below the 1981-85 average number of fatalities per year, and therefore the target of a one-third reduction by the year 2000 was exceeded for fatalities. For seriously injured casualties, the 2000 figure was 57% below the 1981-85 average, so the target was bettered for seriously injured casualties. However, the figure of 16,618 slight casualties in 2000 was only 9% below the 1981-85 average and so the target of a one-third reduction was not achieved for slight casualties. And, the total number of casualties in 2000 was 24% below the 1981-85 average, and therefore the target of a one-third reduction in the total number of casualties was not met.
In March 2000, the UK Government, the then Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales announced a new national road safety strategy and casualty reduction targets for 2010. The number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads in Scotland in 2010 was 55% below the 1994-98 average, and therefore the target of a 40% reduction by the year 2010 was exceeded for fatalities. For children Killed or seriously injured, the 2010 figure was 73% below the 1994-98 average, a greater reduction than the 2010 target of a 50% fall. The slight casualty rate of 25.67 casualties per 100 million vehicle kilometres in 2010 was 45% below the 1994-98 baseline average of 46.42 - a greater reduction than the 2010 target of a 10% fall.
Figure 2 Scottish fatal reported road accidents: 1972 onwards
showing likely range of values (see text) around 5-year moving average
Figure 3 Scottish reported road accident deaths: 1949 onwards
showing likely range of values (see text) around 5-year moving average
1.4 The likely range of random year-to-year variation in some road accident and casualty numbers for Scotland as a whole(see Figures 2 to 5)
Because road accidents may occur at random, the numbers of accidents, and the numbers of casualties in those accidents, can fluctuate from year to year. Figures 2 to 5 show, for Scotland as a whole, the numbers of:
- fatal road accidents (1972 to 2013);
- road deaths (1949 to 2013);
- people killed or seriously injured (1950 to 2013);
- children killed or seriously injured (1981 to 2013).
The number of years covered by each chart reflects the availability of the relevant figures. The black dots are the values in each year, and the black lines indicate the year-to-year variation. The grey dashed lines show the likely range of random year-to-year variation in the figures: based on statistical theory, one would expect that only about 5% of years would have figures outwith these ranges. Appendix G describes how these ranges were produced: the limits of the likely ranges of values are calculated in a similar way to 95% confidence intervals. It also explains why they cannot be produced for all years.
Fatal accidents, and deaths in road accidents (see Figures 2 and 3)
Figures 2 and 3 show that the number of fatal accidents is within its likely range of values in every year, and the number of road deaths is within its likely range of values in all but three years. These results are reasonable: one would expect a few years' figures to be outside the likely range of random year-to-year variation, given that there are over 30 years' figures for fatal accidents and over 50 years' figures for road accident deaths. Figures 2 and 3 therefore show that, despite the large percentage changes such as the falls in deaths of 19% between 1998 and 1999, and of 13% between 2001 and 2002, the figures almost always remain within the expected ranges. Hence, one should not put too much weight on a single large percentage change.
Killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties (see Figure 4)
Figure 4 has many years' figures (around a third) outwith the calculated likely range of values. The reason for this is that statistical variability is not the only reason for year-to-year changes - other factors have contributed to sharp falls and rises in KSI casualty numbers. For example, the sharp fall shown in 1983 may be partly due to the introduction of seat belt wearing (for drivers and front seat passengers in most cars and light vans). Similarly, the sharp rise in 1994 may be due in part to the change in hospital practices where more casualties were kept in overnight for observation.
In effect, such factors change the underlying rate of occurrence of accidents and/or casualties, and therefore, in effect, introduce a break into the series of moving average values. The method used to calculate the likely range of random variation cannot take account of the effect of such changes.
Figure 4 Killed and seriously injured reported casualties
showing likely range of values (see text) around 5-year moving average
Figure 5 Reported child (0-15) casualties: killed or seriously injured
showing likely range of values (see text) around 5-year moving average
Only Figure 4 has figures outwith the calculated interval due to the likely ranges of random year-to-year variation calculated for small numbers being quite wide in percentage terms. This is because, for a Poisson process (see Appendix G), by definition, the greater the frequency of occurrence of events, the smaller the proportion that the standard deviation of the frequency (which is the square root of that number) represents of that number. For example:
- with 100 cases, the square root is 10 - or 10% of the value;
- with 400 cases, the square root is 20 - 5% of the value;
- with 10,000 cases, the square root is 100 - only 1% of the value.
As a result, if a factor (like the introduction of the compulsory wearing of front seat belts) were to cause the same percentage fall in each of the four types of accident and casualty numbers used in the charts, the following might be observed. The percentage fall could be within the relatively wide percentage range of likely random variation around the smaller numbers, but outwith the relatively narrow percentage range of likely random variation around the larger numbers. The ranges in Figures 2, 3 and 5 appear to be sufficiently wide to encompass the effects of changes such those mentioned above. (That is, the effects of the changes in their first years may fall within the likely range of random variation.
Of course, over the longer-term, such changes should make significant contributions to the reductions in casualty numbers and their severity.) However, the intervals in Figure 4 include a much smaller than expected proportion of the figures. This is because the likely range of random variation for KSI casualties represents only a small percentage of the total, and factors like those mentioned above appear to have had a greater percentage effect than that in their first years.
Children killed or seriously injured (see Figure 5)
Figure 5 shows that the year-to-year fluctuations in the numbers of children killed or seriously injured (for the years for which figures are readily available) are generally within the expected ranges. The exceptions are around 1994, when health boards' policies changed, with the result that more child casualties were admitted to hospitals for overnight observation. This changed the classification of many injuries from slight to serious.
When changes in operational practice or to administrative processes have a marked effect on the statistics, the resulting year-to-year changes can be much greater than those expected to arise due to normal random year-to-year variation - so it is not surprising that there are figures outwith the expected ranges around 1994.
2. Reported Accidents
2.1 Accidents by road type and severity (see Table 4)
Table 4 shows separate figures for trunk roads and for local authority roads. Trunk roads accounted for only small proportions of the total numbers of accidents in 2013: 38% of fatal accidents, 16% of serious accidents, and 16% of all accidents. The trunk road network's shares of accident numbers in previous years were broadly similar.
Accident trends for different types of road will be affected by developments in the surrounding area (new city and town bypasses, construction of new roads with high average traffic flows etc.) Therefore, figures do not provide an accurate measure of the comparative change in the road safety performance of different types of road.
Several changes were made to the trunk road network with effect from 1st April 1996. Appendix E refers to them, and explains why the 1994-98 averages for trunk roads and for local authority major roads have been calculated by counting accidents which occurred prior to 1st April 1996 on the basis of whether they occurred on roads which were part of the post- 1 April 1996 trunk road network.
2.2 Accident rates (see Table 5)
Accident rates showing the number of accidents per 100 million vehicle kilometres are contained in parts (b) and (c) of table 5. These are calculated by dividing the numbers of accidents on each type of road by the estimated volumes of traffic on those roads, which were provided by the Department for Transport, and which are available for all types of road with effect from 1993. The five year average accident rates were calculated by dividing the total number of accidents which occurred in each five year period by the total of the estimated volumes of traffic for the same period, rather than by calculating the averages of the individual accident rates for the five years.
Accident rates have fallen markedly since the early 1990s. The overall fatal accident rate has dropped from 0.72 per 100 million vehicle kilometres in 2003 to 0.36 in 2013; the serious accident rate fell from 5.94 to 3.26; and the overall accident rate (all severities) reduced from 33.11 per 100 million vehicle kilometres to 20.50. Motorways had consistently lower accident rates than A roads. Leaving aside the relatively low rate for fatal accidents, minor roads (taken together as a group) tend to have higher accident rates than major roads, and accident rates tend to be higher for built-up roads (roads with speed limits of up to 40 mph) than for non built-up roads (ones with higher speed limits).
Part C of the table shows that estimated accident rates vary considerably by police force area. Some of this variation may be attributed to the distribution of traffic by road type within individual areas.
2.3 Accidents by month by road type (see Table 6)
The numbers of injury accidents over the years 2009-2013 were fairly evenly spread throughout the year, with minor peaks in August, September and November. Serious accidents varied a little more between the months, and their peak, which occurred in September, was 19% above the monthly average. (Months are standardised to 30 days to allow comparison)
On average, there were 15 fatal accidents per month in the years 2009 to 2013. The number did not vary greatly between the months: the lowest average was 11, and the highest was 18.
2.4 Accidents by light condition and road surface condition (see Table 7)
The light and road surface conditions and the type of road (e.g. built-up) contribute to the severity of an accident. Severity rates are higher on non built-up roads than on built-up roads, likely due to the higher average speed. Severity rates are also higher in darkness than in daylight, likely due to poorer visibility.
For example, taking the annual averages for 2009-2013, 3.8% of injury road accidents on non built-up roads in darkness (39 out of 1,028) resulted in one (or more) deaths compared with 1.5% of accidents on built-up roads in darkness (25 out of 1,634) and 2.9% of accidents on non built-up roads in daylight (81 out of 2,768). Similarly, the percentage of accidents classified as serious is lower for built-up roads in daylight than for built-up roads in darkness.
Figure 6 Reported casualties: Total and Slightly injured - from 1950
Severity rates did not appear to be higher when the road surface condition was wet, damp or flooded, or affected by snow, frost or ice. For example, taking the annual averages for 2009 to 2013, the percentage of accidents on non built-up roads classified as serious when the road surface condition was dry was 23.9% (415 out of 1,733) compared with 18.1% (290 out of 1,604) when the surface was wet and 13.9% (64 out of 459) when it was affected by snow, frost or ice.
2.5 Car driver accident rates (see Table 18b)
This table includes all car drivers involved in injury accidents regardless of whether they were injured or not, on the basis of whatever information is known about their ages and their sex. For example, someone whose sex was known, but whose age was not known, will be included in the all ages total for the appropriate sex. The grand total includes those for whom neither the age nor the sex was known.
As the car driver accident rates that are shown for each sex and age group are on a per head of population basis, rather than being based upon the numbers of driving licence holders or upon the distance driven, they can provide only a general indication of the relative accident rates for each group. The statistics do not provide a measure of the relative risk of each group as car drivers, because they do not take account of the differing levels of car driving by each group.
Age & Gender
Car driver accident rates per head of population vary markedly by age and sex. In 2013, the overall rate was 2.5 per thousand population aged 17+. The peak occurs for males in the 17-25 age group, with a rate of 4.1 per thousand population in 2013. This rate is one and a half times those of females of the same age (2.8 per thousand in 2013).
The overall male car driver accident rate in 2013 was 3.0 per thousand population and all age groups were slightly lower than the previous year. The overall female car driver accident rate in 2013 was 1.9 per thousand population and all age groups apart from 60+ (which remained the same) were slightly lower than the previous year.
Between 2003 and 2013, the male car driver accident rate fell from 5.6 to 3.0 per thousand population, while the female car driver accident rate has declined slowly from 2.9 per thousand population to 1.9 per thousand in 2013. As a result, the overall, ratio of male to female car driver accident rates has fallen from 1.9 : 1 for 2003 to 1.6 : 1 in 2013.
3. Reported Casualties
3.1 Casualties by type of road (see Table 23)
In 2013, non built-up roads accounted for two-fifths of the total number of casualties (40%: 4,581 out of 11,498). However, because speeds are higher on non built-up roads than elsewhere (the definition is roads with a speed limit of more than 40mph), they accounted for almost three quarters of those killed (73%: 125 out of 172) and for just under half of the total number of seriously injured (49%: 823 out of 1,672).
Compared with 2003, the fall in the total number of casualties has been 42% for non built-up roads and 36% for those elsewhere. The difference in the numbers killed on non built-up roads is higher than those on built-up ones (down by 50% for non built-up roads compared with a reduction of 46% elsewhere). Over the years, some traffic will have been transferred away from built-up roads by the opening of city and town bypasses, and by the construction of non built-up roads with higher average traffic volumes. Therefore, these figures do not provide an accurate measure of the comparative change in the road safety performance of built-up and non built-up roads.
3.2 Casualties by mode of transport (see Table 23)
A total of 6,961 car users were injured in road accidents in 2013, representing 61% of all casualties. Of these car users, 89 died. There were 1,747 pedestrian casualties (15% of the total), of whom 38 died, 883 pedal cycle casualties (8% of the total), of whom 13 died, and 773 motor cycle casualties (7% of the total), of whom 23 died. Because of the numbers of car user, pedestrian, pedal cyclist and motorcyclist casualties, the figures for each of these four groups of road users are the subject of separate sections, which follow this one, and are followed by a section on child casualties, which gives details of their modes of transport.
Together, all the modes of transport other than the four mentioned above accounted for 1,134 casualties in 2013 (10% of the total), and for smaller percentages of the numbers of seriously injured. These included 394 bus and coach users injured in 2013, of whom 34 suffered serious injuries (two died). There were also 329 casualties who were travelling in light goods vehicles, 108 people in heavy goods vehicles, 152 users of taxis, 53 users of minibuses and 98 people with another means of transport.
3.3 Car user casualties
A total of 6,961 car users were injured in road accidents in 2013, representing 61% of all casualties. Of these people, a total of 722 were seriously injured, 89 died. Non built-up roads accounted for over half of all car user casualties (52%: 3,589 out of 6,961). Perhaps because average speeds are higher on non-built up roads, they accounted for much higher percentages of the total numbers of car users who were killed (84%: 75 out of 89) or were seriously injured (75%: 542 out of 722). (see Table 23)
The number of car users killed in 2013 was 20% more than the 2012 figure. The number who were seriously injured fell by 15% and the total number of casualties of all severities was down by 9%. Since 2003, the number killed has dropped by 53%, and there have been falls of 52% in the number who were seriously injured and of 41% in the total number of car user casualties. (see Table 23)
Looking at annual averages over the years 2009-2013, the casualty rate for 16-22 year old car users was 3.55 per thousand population. This was much higher than the rate for car users in the older age groups, which varied from 0.9 to 2.7 per thousand population. (see Table 32)
Figure 7 Reported casualties: 5 year moving average
(1947-51 to 2009-13)
On average, over the years 2009-2013, 71% of car user fatalities occurred on roads with a speed limit of 60mph. Such roads accounted for 59% of those car users who were seriously injured, but for only 40% of the total number of car user casualties (of all severities). (see Table 33)
Adult car users
On weekdays, the peak time for adult car user casualties was from 4pm to 6pm. The 5pm to 6pm average of 477 (the average over the years 2009-2013) was 19% higher than the average of 400 in the morning 8am to 9am peak. (see Table 28)
Adult car user casualties varied by month, with fewest in April and most in November. November had 26% more adult car user casualties than the April (annual averages over the years 2009-2013; months standardised to 30 days). (see Table 29)
Friday had the peak numbers of adult car user casualties over the years 2009-2013 with 12% more than the average daily number of adult car user casualties. (see Table 30)
3.4 Pedestrian casualties
There were 1,747 pedestrian casualties in 2013: 15% of all casualties. Of these, 404 were seriously injured (38 died). Presumably due to the number of pedestrians and because of their greater vulnerability, a high proportion (24%) of the total number of people who were seriously injured were pedestrians. In addition, 23% of pedestrian casualties were seriously injured (404 out of 1,747) compared with an average for all modes of 15% (1,672 out of 11,498). 95% of pedestrian casualties occurred on built-up roads (1,665 out of 1,747). Perhaps because of higher average speeds on non built-up roads, 39% of the pedestrian casualties on such roads were seriously injured (32 out of 82) compared with 22% on built-up roads (372 out of 1,665). (see Table 23)
The number of pedestrians seriously injured and the overall number of pedestrian casualties in 2013 were both 12% lower than 2012. Since 2003, the number of pedestrians killed has fallen by 40%, the number who were seriously injured has dropped by 43%, and there has been a 42% reduction in the total number of pedestrian casualties. Looking at the annual average for the period 2009 to 2013, the pedestrian fatality rate was highest for those aged 70+ and 16 to 22 year olds (0.02 per thousand population). However, the 12-15 age-group had the highest 'serious' and 'all severities' pedestrian casualty rates (0.23 and 1.05 per thousand population, respectively). The corresponding casualty rates for the 5-11 age-group were slightly lower. (see Tables 23 & 32)
The overall pedestrian 'all severities' casualty rate for males was 0.46 per thousand population, compared with 0.30 per thousand for females, using the averages for the period 2009 to 2013. (see Table 34)
Adult pedestrian casualties
On average in the period 2009 to 2013, the peak time for adult pedestrian casualties during the week was from 4pm to 6pm; at weekends it was from midnight to 2am. (see Table 28)
November and December were the peak months for adult pedestrian casualties, with each having 24-37% more than the monthly average. Adult pedestrian casualties in the four winter months, November to February, were 21% more than the monthly average (annual averages over the years 2009-2013; months standardised to 30 days). (see Table 29)
Friday and Saturday have the highest numbers of adult pedestrian casualties; respectively 20% and 14% more than the daily average over the period 2009 to 2013. (see Table 30)
3.5 Pedal Cycle Casualties
There were 883 pedal cycle casualties in 2013, 23 less than the previous year. The number of seriously injured pedal cycle casualties in 2013 was 148, 12% lower than in 2012. There were 13 pedal cycle fatalities in 2013, four more than 2012. Since 2003 there has been a 10% rise in all pedal cycle casualties, the number who were seriously injured has risen by 18%, and the number of fatalities has fluctuated between 4 and 16. In 2013, 88% of pedal cycle casualties were on built-up roads. (see Table 23) But 63% of all fatalities over the last five years were on non-built up roads. It should be noted that pedal cycle traffic has increased by 32 per cent since 2003, and increased 6 per cent between 2012 and 2013.
In terms of the averages for the period 2009 to 2013, the pedal cycle casualty rate per head of population was highest for those aged 30-39 (0.28 per thousand population) and 26-29 (0.24 per thousand). Of course, it must be remembered that, as noted earlier, per capita casualty rates do not provide a measure of the relative risk, because they do not take account of the levels of usage of (in this case) pedal cycles. (see Table 32)
Adult pedal cycle casualties
Using the averages for the period 2009 to 2013, on weekdays, the peak numbers of adult pedal cycle casualties were from 4pm to 7pm and from 7 am to 9 am. At weekends the numbers were smaller, but appear to peak between mid-day and 3pm. (see Table 28)
The peak months of the year for adult pedal cycle casualties were August and September which were 22% and 26% more than the monthly average respectively (2009-2013 annual averages standardised to 30 days). (see Table 29)
The days of the week with the peak numbers of adult pedal cycle casualties were Tuesday and Wednesday, 22% and 23% higher than the daily average, over the years 2009-2013. There were substantially fewer adult pedal cycle casualties on Saturday and Sunday, with both being 36% less than the daily average. (see Table 30)
3.6 Motorcyclist casualties
A total of 773 motorcyclists were injured in road accidents in 2013, representing 7% of all casualties. Of these, 280 were seriously injured and 23 died. 45 % of all motorcyclist casualties occurred on non built-up roads but (perhaps because of their higher average speeds) such roads accounted for almost three fifths of those seriously injured, and almost four fifths of those killed. (see Table 23)
The number of motorcyclist casualties in 2013 was 11% lower than in the previous year. The number killed rose by 2 and the number seriously injured fell by 62. The total number of motor cycle casualties rose each year from 1999 to a peak in 2001; since then, it has tended to decline. As a result, the figure for all casualties in 2013 was 31% lower than in 2003. Twenty seven less motorcyclists died in 2013 than in 2003. (see Table 23)
On average, over the years 2009 to 2013, the motorcyclist casualty rate was highest for the 16-22 and 40-49 year old age groups (0.34 and 0.28 per thousand population respectively), followed by 23-25 and 30-39, both 0.25 per thousand population; other age-groups had smaller casualty rates. (see Table 32)
Looking at the averages for the period 2009 to 2013, the peak time of day for adult motorcyclist casualties was 4pm to 6pm on weekdays (see Table 28), the peak months of the year were June (104), with a longer peak from May to September (see Table 29) and there were more casualties at the weekend than on any of the other days (see Table 30).
3.7 Child (0-15) casualties
There were 1,062 child casualties in 2013, representing 9% of the total number of casualties of all ages. Of the child casualties, 143 were seriously injured, and 9 died (see Table 24).
There were seven more children killed in 2013 than in 2012 and a fall of 26% in the number of children seriously injured. The total number of child casualties fell by 9%. Since 2003, the number of children killed has fallen by eight and there has been a reduction of 66% in child seriously injured casualties. (see Table A and Table 25)
In terms of the averages for the period 2009 to 2013, on weekdays, the peak time for child casualties was from 3pm to 5pm, with 29% of all weekday casualties in those two hours. A further 26% occurred in the three hours between 5pm and 8pm There was a smaller peak in the morning, between 8am and 9am There was no real clear peak at weekends: the numbers of casualties were very broadly the same each hour from 12 noon to 7pm (see Table 27)
August was the peak month for child casualties, with 31% more than in an average month. June and September had 13% and 21% more than an average month respectively. (2009-2013 annual averages standardised to 30 days). (see Table 29)
Using the averages for 2009 to 2013, Friday was the peak day of the week for child casualties, with 25% more than an average day. Sunday, on the other hand, had 27% less than an average day. (see Table 30)
Child (0-15) casualties by mode of transport
In 2013, there were 464 child pedestrian casualties. They accounted for 27% of all pedestrian casualties of all ages (464 out of 1,747). Of the child pedestrian casualties, 92 were seriously injured and 5 died. (see Table 24)
There were 110 child pedal cycle casualties in 2013 (12% of the total of 883 pedal cycle casualties of all ages). The child pedal cycle casualties included 11 who were seriously injured, two died. (see Table 24)
In 2013, there were 414 child casualties in cars, 6% of the total number of car user casualties of all ages (414 out of 6,961). Of the child casualties in cars, 34 were seriously injured (two died). (see Tables 23 and 25)
Child (0-15) casualty rates (per head of population)
Children's casualty rates (per head of population) increase with age: using the averages for the years 2009-2013 taken together, for children aged 0-4 the rate was 0.65 per thousand population, whereas it was 1.53 per thousand for those aged 5-11 and for the 12-15 age group it was 2.10 per thousand. The pedestrian casualty rate for younger children (0-4 years) was three tenths of those for 5-11 and a fifth of the 12-15 year old rate. (see Table 32)
The pedestrian casualty rate for boys seriously injured in the 0-4 age group was more than twice that for girls. The difference between the sexes was even more pronounced in the case of the driver or rider casualty rates, particularly for the 12-15 age group. (see Table 34)
The overall child pedestrian casualty rates for seriously injured and for all severities, at 0.15 and 0.64 per thousand child population respectively, were almost two times higher than the corresponding rates for adult pedestrian casualties. (see Table 32)
3.8 Casualty rates for local authority roads by local authority area, and the likely range of random year-to-year variation in these figures (see Appendix H)
There can be some large percentage year-to-year fluctuations in the numbers of some types of casualty for local authority areas. In order to illustrate this, the table and charts in Appendix H were initially prepared in 2006 and published in Road Accidents Scotland 2005. They have now been updated using data for 2009 to 2013. They provide the following overall casualty rates (calculated per 100 million vehicle kilometres) for local authority roads in each local authority area for 2011:
- (all ages) killed casualty rate;
- (all ages) seriously injured casualty rate;
- child killed and seriously injured casualty rate(combined in one chart due to small numbers);
- slight casualty rate
These figures were calculated (or taken) from the data in two of the tables in this publication:
- the numbers of children killed and seriously injured, and the total number of people killed and seriously injured - Table 40; and
- the number of slight casualties, the estimated volume of traffic (in millions of vehicle kilometres) and the resulting slight casualty rate - Table 41.
The table in Appendix H also shows the likely upper and lower limits of the ranges within which these casualty rates would be expected to fall, given the likely random statistical variation that might affect the number of casualties in that year. Based on statistical theory, one would expect that the actual figures would be outwith these ranges in only about 5% of cases. The text in Appendix H describes how the ranges were calculated, using the annual averages for 2009 to 2013, as that is the five year period centred on 2011 (the year to which the casualty rates relate). That is why the table and charts are not for 2013: the calculation of ranges for 2013 would require the annual averages for 2011 to 2015. When the table and charts were prepared, 2011 was the latest year for which data were available.
The charts which accompany the Appendix H table show the actual casualty rates for 2011, casualty rates based upon the 2009-2013 annual averages, and the likely ranges of values within which the 2011 rates might fall, given the likely levels of random statistical variation in that year (calculated from the 2009-2013 annual averages). The 2011 rates are identified by black diamonds, the rates based upon the 2009-2013 annual averages by small circles, and the likely ranges of values by the thin bars which extend to either side of the small circles. (In any case where the 5 year average is zero, there is no likely range of values as, by definition, the value for 2011 could only be zero.) For example, the slight casualty rate chart shows that (for local authority roads in 2011):
- Eilean Siar had the lowest slight casualty rate (17 per 100 million vehicle-kilometres) and Glasgow the highest (60 per 100 million vehicle kilometres), as can be seen from the table;
- In the case, of Eilean Siar table 41 shows that, in 2011, they had a lower number of slight casualties than their 2009-2013 annual average numbers, whereas Inverclyde had a slightly higher number than their 2009-2013 annual average;
- Orkney and Eilean Siar had the widest likely ranges of values. This is due to their having relatively few slight casualties (2009-2013 annual averages of 25 and 35, respectively). The smaller the casualty numbers are, the greater in percentage terms the potential random year-to-year variation (this is discussed in Section 1.4 and Appendix G). Edinburgh and Glasgow have much narrower likely ranges of values, because their numbers of slight casualties on local authority roads are much larger (2009-2013 annual averages of 1,128 and 1,265 respectively). The Scotland figure (at the foot of the chart) has a very narrow likely range of values, because it is based on an annual average of 8,957 in 2009-13.
- Few local authorities had slight casualty rates that were markedly outwith the likely range of values;
- Orkney had a slight casualty rate (18 per 100 million vehicle-kilometres) which was noticeably above the lower limit (of 12 per 100 million vehicle-kilometres) of the estimated likely range of values - in other words, the slight casualty rate that year was unusually high, compared with what would have been expected on the basis of the casualty numbers for the five-year period. On the other hand Dumfries & Galloway had a slight casualty rate (32 per 100 million vehicle-kilometres) which was noticeably below the upper limit of 42 per 100 million vehicle-kilometres which was unusually low. Table 41 shows that its number of slight casualties in 2011 was 218, compared with the annual average of 235 for the years 2009 to 2013.
4. Motorists, breath testing and drink-driving
These tables cover all motorists who were known to be involved in injury road accidents (e.g. excluding those untraced drivers involved in hit and run accidents). Here, a motorist is defined as the driver or the rider of a motor vehicle (e.g. motor cycle)
In 2013, 60% of motorists involved in injury accidents were asked for a breath test (this ranged from 53% to around 79% across the police force divisions). The breath test proved positive (or the motorist refused to take the test) for 2.4% of those drivers breathalysed. This represented 1.5% of the total number of motorists involved (including those who were not asked for a breath test). There have been falls in these percentages in the last couple of years as seen in table 19.
Tables 20 and 21 show the time and day of the accident (Table 20) and for a number of years (Table 21). Table 21 shows that, in 2013, of the 212 positive / refused cases, 41% occurred between 9pm and 3am [16% between 9pm and midnight, plus 25% between midnight and 3am.] Table 20 shows that, using 2009 to 2013 averages, the number of positive / refused cases, expressed as a percentage of motorists involved in accidents, was highest (at around 15%) between midnight and 6am, but varied depending upon the day of the week, from 8% (the average for 3am to 6am for Mondays to Thursdays) to 20% (3am to 6am on Saturdays and Sundays). Table 20 shows that although the period from 9pm to midnight had the second highest number of positive / refused cases, the equivalent percentages were not as high, because between 9pm and midnight there were many more motorists involved in accidents than between midnight and 3am
4.2 Drink-drive accidents and casualties (see Table 22)
Table 22 shows the estimates (made by the Department for Transport) of the numbers of injury road accidents involving illegal alcohol levels. They are higher than the number of drivers with positive breath test results (or who refused to take the breath test) because they include allowances for the numbers of cases where drivers were not breath tested because of the severity of their injuries, or because they left the scene of the accident. Information about the blood alcohol levels of road users who died within 12 hours of being injured in a road accident is supplied by the Procurators Fiscal.
The estimates show that the numbers of drink-drive accidents fell by 46% and the number of casualties by 54% between 2002 and 2012 (the latest year for which estimates are available): from a rounded estimate of 820 to roughly 440 (accidents) and from around 1,270 to some 580 (casualties). While fluctuating from year to year, the number of people killed as a result of drink-drive accidents is estimated to have fallen by four fifths, from about 50 in 2002 to around 10 in 2012. The number of serious casualties is estimated to have dropped by three fifths (from roughly 240 in 2002 to some 100 in 2012).
5. Comparisons of Scottish figures against those of other countries
5.1 Casualty rates: against England & Wales (see Tables C to F below)
Historically, killed and seriously injured casualty rates per head of population in Scotland have been above those for England & Wales, whereas the total casualty rate is usually lower in Scotland than in England & Wales. In 2013, Scotland's casualty rates were 19% higher (killed), 11% lower (serious) and 29% lower (all severities).
In 2013, the Scottish rates were 6% lower (serious) than those in England and Wales and 15% lower (all severities). In the case of serious and all casualties this represented an improvement in Scotland's figures relative to England & Wales (compared with the 2004-08 average).
Due to the relatively small number of fatalities a 5 year average is used for comparison here. In the period 2009-2013, child fatality rates in Scotland were on average 12% higher than England and Wales, however, in 3 of the five years the rates were lower.
It should be noted that the ratio of the fatality rates for Scotland and for England and Wales can fluctuate markedly from year to year, particularly for the child fatality rates due to the relatively small numbers in Scotland, (which may be subject to year-to-year changes which are large in percentage terms). Therefore, subsequent paragraphs do not refer to the fatality rates for children using different modes of transport. In addition, it should be remembered that the rates for some other sub-groups may be affected by year-to-year fluctuations: for example, the numbers are relatively small for most categories of child killed and seriously injured casualties in Scotland.
Mode of transport
The casualty rates of car users in Scotland have for many years been substantially higher than those of England & Wales for killed and seriously injured casualties, while for all severities the rate has been much lower. In 2013, Scotland's car user fatality rate was 37% higher than that of England & Wales, the seriously injured rate was 12% higher, while the all severity car user rate was 27% lower. For child car users, the seriously injured rate was 69% higher in Scotland and the all severities rate was 20% less than that of England and Wales.
In 2013, the pedestrian killed rate per capita was 13% higher in Scotland than England & Wales, and the serious and all severities rates were 6% and 16% lower respectively. The child pedestrian casualty rates in Scotland were 12% lower (seriously injured) and 8% lower (all severities) compared to those for England & Wales.
Pedal cyclists casualty rates (all ages) in Scotland were substantially lower than in England & Wales in 2013 for seriously injured (47% lower) and for all severities (49% lower). The child pedal cycle casualty serious and all severities rates were also lower in Scotland than in England & Wales. These differences may reflect the fact that, according to the National Travel Survey, on average, people in Scotland do not travel as far by bicycle as people in England and Wales.
Further information about the numbers of casualties in England and Wales, and for Great Britain as a whole, can be found in Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2012, which is published by the Department for Transport.
This section compares Scotland's road death rates in 2012 and 2013 (provisional) with the fatality rates of some countries in Western Europe and some developed countries world-wide. The comparisons involve a total of up to 42 countries (including Scotland, and counting each of the UK, Great Britain, England, Wales and Northern Ireland as an individual country). The fatality rates were calculated on a per capita basis (the statistics given are rates per million population), and the countries were then listed in order of their fatality rates in Table G sections (a), (b), (c) and (d). In cases where two countries appear to have the same rate, the order takes account of decimal places which are not shown in the tables. A table of car user fatality rates which were calculated on a per motor vehicle basis is no longer shown due to a lack of consistent data.
Tables G and H were provided by the Department for Transport, which obtained the figures for foreign countries from the International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) Web site, the address of which is: http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/jtrc/safety/safetyl
In accordance with the commonly agreed international definition, most countries define a fatality as being due to a road accident if death occurs within 30 days of the accident. However, the official road accident statistics of some countries limit the fatalities to those occurring within shorter periods after the accident. The numbers of deaths, and the death rates, which appear in the IRTAD tables take account of the adjustment factors used by the Economic Commission for Europe and the European Conference of Ministers of Transport to represent standardised 30-day numbers of deaths.
In 2013, Scotland's provisional overall road death rate of 32 per million population was the sixth lowest of the 37 countries surveyed (counting each of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland as a separate country, but not counting the overall GB and UK figures).
However, Scotland's overall road safety position does not appear as good when the fatality rates of pedestrians are considered separately. In 2012, Scotland's pedestrian fatality rate was 10 per million population. Scotland ranked twenty first of the 33 countries for which figures are available (again counting Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland separately, and again not counting the GB and UK figures).
When the car user fatality rate is calculated on a per capita basis, Scotland has a low car user fatality rate (14 per million population: the fifth lowest of 28 countries, again not counting the GB and UK figures.
The fatality rates per head of population for up to 34 countries (including Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland as separate countries, but not counting the overall GB and UK figures) are shown, for each of four broad age-groups, in Table H. Again, the ordering takes account of decimal places not shown in the table. In most cases, Scotland has one of the lowest rates per capita. However, the Scottish rate is third lowest for casualties aged 0-14. It was the sixth lowest for those aged 15-24, fifth lowest for 65+ and eighth lowest for those aged 25-64 (in each case, not counting the overall GB and UK figures).
International comparisons of road safety are based on road death rates, as this is the only basis for which there is an international standard definition. As indicated above, the OECD IRTAD tables provide comparable figures for each country, after making adjustments to the data for countries which do not collect their figures on the standard basis. One should not try to compare different countries' overall road accident casualty rates (i.e. the total numbers killed or injured, relative to the population of each country) because there is no internationally-adopted standard definition of a injury road accident. There are considerable differences between countries in the coverage of their injury road accident statistics. For example, many countries count only accidents which result in someone being admitted to hospital - so their figures would not include the kinds of accident which, in Britain, are classified as causing only slight injuries or certain types of serious injury. Because many countries' definitions of injury road accidents are much narrower than the definition used in the UK, their reported numbers of injury road accidents will appear low relative to ours - so comparing the reported numbers of people injured in road accidents may provide a misleading impression of different countries' road safety records.
1 Child 0-15 years
1 Child 0-15 years
|(a) All road users 2013 (Provisional)||(b) All road users 2012|
|Numbers killed||Per million population||Numbers killed||Per million population|
|Northern Ireland||57||31||96||United Kingdom||1,802||28||88|
|United States of America||33,780||108||336|
|Republic of Korea||5,392||110||345|
1 In accordance with the commonly agreed international definition, most countries define a fatality as one being due to a road accident where death occurs within 30 days of the accident. The official road accident statistics of some countries however, limit the fatalities to those occurring within shorter periods after the accident. Numbers of deaths and death rates in the above table have been adjusted according to the factors used by the Economic Commission for Europe and the International Transport Forum (ITF) (formerly known as ECMT) to represent standardised 30-day deaths: Italy (7 days) +8%; France (6 days) +5.7%; Portugal (1 day) +14%; Republic of Korea (3 days) +15%.
2 Source: International Road Traffic and Accident Database (OECD), ETSC, EUROSTAT and CARE (EU road accidents database).
|(b) 15-24 years||pop||Index|
|(c) 25-64 years|
|(d) 65+ years|