Reported Collisions by road type and severity

Reported Collisions by road type and severity

Table 4 shows separate figures for trunk roads and local authority roads. Trunk roads accounted for a minority of the total number of collisions in 2022: 35% of fatal collisions, 18% of serious collisions, and 18% of all collisions. The trunk road network's share of collision numbers in previous years were broadly similar.

Collision 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 collisions 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.

Collision rates

Collision rates showing the number of collisions per 100 million vehicle kilometres are contained in parts (b) and (c) of table 5. These are calculated by dividing the numbers of collisions 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 collision rates were calculated by dividing the total number of collisions 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 collision rates for the five years.

Collision rates have fallen markedly since the early 1990s. The overall fatal collision rate has dropped from 0.63 per 100 million vehicle kilometres in 2005 to 0.32 in 2022 and the overall collision rate (all severities) reduced from 31.93 per 100 million vehicle kilometres to 8.73. Motorways had consistently lower collision rates than A roads. Leaving aside the relatively low rate for fatal collisions, minor roads (taken together as a group) tend to have higher collision rates than major roads, and collision 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 collision 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.

Collisions by month by road type

Table 6 refers.

The numbers of injury collisions over the years 2018-2022 were fairly evenly spread throughout the year, with minor peaks in January and July. (Months are standardised to 30 days to allow comparison).

On average, there were 12 fatal collisions per month in the years 2018 to 2022. Over the five year period, the number did not vary greatly between the months: the lowest average was 9, and the highest was 17.

Collisions by light condition and road type

Table 7 refers.

Using annual averages over the period 2018-2022, 6.6% of injury road collisions on non built-up roads in darkness (32 out of 485) resulted in one or more deaths compared with 1.7% of collisions on built-up roads in darkness (18 out of 1,065) and 5.1% of collisions on non built-up roads in daylight (67 out of 1,326).

Car driver collision rates

Table 18b refers.

This table includes all car drivers involved in injury collisions 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 collision rates shown for each sex and age group are on a per head of population basis, rather than based on the numbers of driving licence holders or on the distance driven, they can provide only a general indication of the relative collision 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 collision rates per head of population vary markedly by age and sex. In 2022, the overall rate was 1.1 collisions per thousand population aged 17+. The peak occurs for males in the 17-25 age group, with a rate of 2.0 per thousand population in 2022. This rate is over one and a half times those of females of the same age (1.1 per thousand in 2022).

The overall male car driver collision rate in 2022 was 1.3 per thousand population; the same as 2021 with rates for all age groups being slightly higher than the previous year except for 26-34 which was the same as 2021. The overall female car driver collision rate in 2022 was 0.8 per thousand population and all age groups showed slight increases from the previous year except for ages 17-25.

Between 2012 and 2022, the male car driver collision rate fell from 3.3 to 1.6 per thousand population, while the female car driver collision rate has declined slowly from 2.1 to 0.8 per thousand in 2022. As a result, the overall, ratio of male to female car driver collision rates has remained the same at 1.6 : 1 between 2012 and 2022.

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