Chapter 6 Reported Injury Road Accidents

Chapter 6 Reported Injury Road Accidents

1. Introduction

1.1 This chapter provides information on injury road accidents which were reported to the police, such as the number and severity of accidents, the police force area in which the accidents occurred, the types of vehicle involved, the number and severity of casualties resulting from the accidents, and the costs of injury and non-injury accidents.

Key points

There were 174 people killed in road accidents in 2012, 11 (6%) less than the previous year and the lowest since current records began more than 50 years ago.

There were 1,974 people recorded as seriously injured in road accidents in 2012, 97 (5%) more than in 2011.

Three quarters of casualties in 2012 were car users or pedestrians. Sixty per cent of casualties were car users and 16 per cent were pedestrians. Motorcycles and pedal cycles accounted for 7 per cent each.

2. Main Points

Accidents

2.1 There were 9,747 injury road accidents reported in 2012, 231 (2%) fewer than 2011. The number of reported accidents has been falling over the past ten years, and in 2012 was 32% lower than in 2002 and the lowest figure since current records began in 1970. There were 160 fatal accidents in 2012: 15 (9%) less than in 2011. The reported number of accidents in which someone was seriously injured, but no-one died rose by 3% to 1,730 and the number of reported slight accidents (7,857) was 273 (3%) fewer than the previous year. (Table 6.1)

2.2 In 2012, over one third of all reported injury road accidents (3,604: 37%) were on non-built up roads (speed limit of more than 40 m.p.h. - see paragraph 3.8). However, such roads accounted for a higher proportion of fatal accidents (97: 61%), partly because speeds tend to be higher on non-built up roads than on built up roads. There was a small decrease in accidents on non-built up roads (down by less than 1%) between 2011 and 2012 compared to a reduction in accidents on built up roads of 3%. (Table 6.1)

2.3 The long term trends in the number of injury road accidents reported between 2002 and 2012 varied between the Police Force divisions across Scotland, ranging from a 5% fall (Aberdeen City) to a 43% fall (Fife). The figures for an area may fluctuate from year to year, although the trend appears to be downwards. (Table 6.2)

2.4 There were 16,485 vehicles involved in reported injury road accidents in 2012. Three-quarters of them were cars (12,182: 74%); pedal cycles were the next vehicle type most often involved in accidents (930: 6%), though motorcycles and light goods vehicles are a similar proportion. (Table 6.3) Up until 2010, the number of motorcycles involved was higher than the number of pedal cycles but since then there has been a fall in motorcycle traffic and an increase in pedal cycle traffic. The number of vehicles involved in accidents should always be considered alongside the traffic estimates in Chapter 5. For example there was an increase of 21 per cent in the numbers of pedal cycles involved in injury accidents between 2008 and 2012, however, over the same period it was estimated that the distance cycled increased by 14 per cent (see chapter 5 table 5.3).

Casualties

2.5 174 people were killed in road accidents in 2012, 11 (6%) less than the previous year and the lowest since current records began more than 50 years ago. This was 40% less than the 2004-08 average, the time period used as the baseline for Scotland's Road Safety Framework. (Table 6.4) Further analysis of progress against the Road Safety Framework Targets can be found in Reported Road Casualties Scotland.

2.6 There were 1,974 people recorded as seriously injured in road accidents in 2012, 97 (5%) more than in 2011, but 24% less than the 2004-08 average and the third lowest figure since records of the numbers of serious injuries began in 1950. 10,528 people were recorded as slightly injured in 2012, 187 (2%) fewer than in 2011, and the lowest number since 1950. There were a total of 12,676 casualties in 2012, 101 (1%) lower than in 2011. (Table 6.4)

2.7 In the context of the total volume of traffic on the roads in Scotland, the 12,676 total casualties recorded represented 29.11 casualties per 100 million vehicle kilometres. The Road Safety Framework also monitors the numbers of slight injuries per 100 million vehicle kilometres. The 10,528 people who were recorded as slightly injured in 2012 represented 24.18 casualties per 100 million vehicle-kilometres. This was 26% below the overall slight casualty rate for the 2004-08 baseline period for Scotland's Road Safety Framework. (Table 6.4)

Child casualties

2.8 There were 1,164 reported child casualties in 2012, representing 9% of the total number of casualties of all ages. There were 2 child fatalities, 194 children were seriously injured (40% less than the 2004-08 average), and 968 were classified as slightly injured. Due to the relatively small number of child fatalities, these are monitored using a three year average to remove the effect of year on year fluctuations. In the three years to 2012, there was an average of 4 child fatalities. The number of child serious casualties fell by 9 (4%) between 2011 and 2012. Slight casualties were down by 138 or 12%. (Table 6.4)

Casualty Rates & Costs

2.9 Table 6.5 provides road casualty rates per thousand population by age group and mode of transport. Overall, there were 2.39 casualties per thousand population in 2012. The casualty rate for children (0-15 years) was 1.27 per thousand population. However, the child and young adult pedestrian casualty rates (0.57 per thousand population) was almost double the pedestrian casualty rate for adults (0.29). The young persons' (16-24 years) casualty rate in 2012 was 4.56 per thousand population, just under twice the rate for all ages. The young persons' casualty rate in cars (3.19 per thousand population) was almost double the rate for adults aged 25-59 (which was 1.62 per thousand population). The 16-24 age group also had higher pedestrian and motor cycle casualty rates than older people. Further information about the mid-year population estimates used to calculate these rates can be found at the General Register Office for Scotland here http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/population/estimates/mid-year/2012/list-of-tablesl (Table 6.5)

2.10 The cost of all road accidents (including damage only non-injury accidents) in 2012 is estimated at £1,160 million at 2012 prices. (Table 6.6)

3. Notes and Definitions

3.1 Fatal injury: an injury which causes death less than 30 days after the accident;

3.2 Fatal accident: an accident in which at least one person is fatally injured;

3.3 Serious injury: an injury which does not cause death less than 30 days after the accident, and which is in one (or more) of the following categories:

(a) an injury for which a person is detained in hospital as an in-patient

or (b) any of the following injuries (whether or not the person is detained in hospital): fractures, concussion, internal injuries, crushings, severe cuts and lacerations, severe general shock requiring treatment

or (c) any injury causing death 30 or more days after the accident;

3.4 Serious accident: an accident in which at least one person is seriously injured, but no-one suffers a fatal injury;

3.5 Slight injury: an injury which is neither fatal nor serious - for example, a sprain, bruise, or cut which is not judged to be severe, or slight shock requiring roadside attention;

3.6 Slight accident: an accident in which at least one person suffers slight injuries, but no-one is seriously injured, or fatally injured.

3.7 It follows that whether some injuries are classified as serious or as slight could depend upon hospitals' admission policies, or upon other administrative practices, and therefore changes in the numbers of injuries of these two types could result from changes in admissions policies or other administrative practices.

3.8 Built-up roads: accidents which occur on built-up roads are those which occur on roads which have speed limits of up to and including 40 miles per hour (ignoring temporary speed limits on roads for which the normal speed limit is over 40 mph). Therefore, an accident on a motorway in an urban area would not be counted as occurring on a built-up road, because the speed limit on the motorway is 70 mph. An accident on a stretch of motorway with a temporary speed limit of 30 mph would not be counted as occurring on a built-up road, because the normal speed limit is 70 mph.

3.9 Children: people under 16 years old.

3.10 Pedestrians: includes people riding toy cycles on the footway; people pushing or pulling bicycles or other vehicles or operating pedestrian-controlled vehicles, those leading or herding animals, occupants of prams or wheelchairs, and people who alight from vehicles and are subsequently injured.

3.11 Estimated Accident Costs: these are intended to encompass all aspects of the costs of casualties including both the human cost and the direct economic cost. The human cost covers an amount to reflect the pain, grief and suffering to the casualty, relatives and friends, and, for fatal casualties, the intrinsic loss of enjoyment of life over and above the consumption of goods and services. The economic cost covers loss of output due to injury and medical costs. The cost of an accident also includes:

i the cost of damage to vehicles and property; and

ii the cost of police and insurance administration.

Also estimated are the number of damage only accidents (around 14 times the number of injury accidents) and their average costs.

3.12 Scotland's road safety framework 2020 targets

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 have been adopted from 2010.

Target 2015 milestone % reduction 2020 target % reduction
People killed 30% 40%
People seriously injured 43% 55%
Children (aged < 16) killed 35% 50%
Children (aged < 16) seriously injured 50% 65%

3.13 Each reduction target will be assessed against the 2004/08 average. In addition to the targets a 10% reduction target in the slight casualty rate will continue to be adopted.

3.14 The 4 main targets differ to previous targets in that deaths have been separated out from serious injuries as, in recent years, trends have been different - serious injuries falling steadily but deaths declining at a lower rate.

3.15 To illustrate the reductions necessary the following table show the level of casualties inferred by the 2015 milestones and 2020 targets above.

2004/2008 average 2015 milestone 2020 target
People killed 292 204 175
People seriously injured 2,604 1,484 1,172
Children (aged < 16) killed 15 10 8
Children (aged < 16) seriously injured 325 163 114

3.16 Due to small numbers, the child fatality target will be monitored using a 3 year rolling average due to the small numbers involved.

4. Sources

4.1 The statistics were compiled from returns made by police forces, which cover all accidents in which a vehicle is involved that occur on roads (including footways) and result in personal injury, if they become known to the police. The vehicle need not be moving, and need not be in collision - for example, the returns include accidents involving people alighting from buses. Very few, if any, fatal accidents do not become known to the police. However, there will be non-fatal injury accidents which are not reported by the public to the police, and so are not counted in these statistics. Reported Road Casualties Scotland (see paragraph 5.1) provides more information on this matter.

4.2 Damage only accidents are not included in the above definition, and so the road accident statistical returns do not cover damage only accidents. It is thought that the number of damage only accidents is about fourteen times the number of reported injury road accidents.

5. Further Information

5.1 For more detailed statistics of injury road accidents and a full description of the terms used see Reported Road Casualties Scotland and also the Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland Statistical Bulletin. The figures they contain may differ slightly from those published here due to late returns and amendments made to the database in the periods between the finalisation of the statistics for the purpose of the publications. http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/analysis/statistics/publications

5.2 Information about the numbers of injury road accidents in Great Britain is given in the annual DfT publications, Reported Road Casualties Great Britain Annual Report and Transport Statistics Great Britain.

5.3 Analysis of alternative data sources for road casualties statistics in Scotland were included in an Article 3 of Reported Road Casualties 2011. An article on undercounting of road casualties was also included.

5.4 For further information on injury road accident statistics contact Andrew Knight of the Transport Scotland Transport Statistics Branch (tel: 0131 244 7256).

6. Other data sources

Within Scottish Transport Statistics:

Chapter 2 - Road transport vehicles

Chapter 4 - Road network

Chapter 5 - Road traffic

Other Transport Scotland statistics publications:

Reported Road Casualties Scotland provides more detailed tables and analysis of the 2012 data.

Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland will be published in June 2014 providing provisional headline figures for 2013.

Department for Transport produce Reported Road Casualties Great Britain as well as estimates of accident costs and drink drive.

Non Official Statistics sources

Transport Scotland

Scotland's Road Safety Framework sets out the policy for road safety in Scotland.

Eurostat compile data for road safety from EU countries, see chapter 12 for more details.

World Health Organisation produce road safety figures for a number of countries world wide.

Table 6.1 Reported accidents by type of road and severity
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Built up roads
Fatal 71 85 90 76 83 71 82 56 56 61 63
Serious 1,528 1,389 1,232 1,224 1,264 1,136 1,277 1,033 925 952 982
Fatal and Serious 1,599 1,474 1,322 1,300 1,347 1,207 1,359 1,089 981 1,013 1,045
Slight 7,586 7,271 7,386 7,087 6,850 6,575 6,105 5,902 5,360 5,341 5,098
All severities 9,185 8,745 8,708 8,387 8,197 7,782 7,464 6,991 6,341 6,354 6,143
Non-built up roads
Fatal 203 216 193 188 210 184 163 140 133 114 97
Serious 1,156 1,106 1,099 1,028 993 913 965 966 788 721 748
Fatal and Serious 1,359 1,322 1,292 1,216 1,203 1,097 1,128 1,106 921 835 845
Slight 3,799 3,850 3,919 3,835 3,710 3,628 3,567 3,460 3,033 2,789 2,759
All severities 5,158 5,172 5,211 5,051 4,913 4,725 4,695 4,566 3,954 3,624 3,604
All roads
Fatal 274 301 283 264 293 255 245 196 189 175 160
Serious 2,684 2,495 2,331 2,252 2,257 2,049 2,242 1,999 1,713 1,673 1,730
Fatal and Serious 2,958 2,796 2,614 2,516 2,550 2,304 2,487 2,195 1,902 1,848 1,890
Slight 11,385 11,121 11,305 10,922 10,560 10,203 9,672 9,362 8,393 8,130 7,857
All severities 14,343 13,917 13,919 13,438 13,110 12,507 12,159 11,557 10,295 9,978 9,747
Table 6.2   Reported accidents by police force division and local authority area
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Aberdeen City  398  366  369  431  393  408  514  445  350  364  378
Aberdeenshire & Moray  757  734  735  772  715  807  886  885  740  655  656
Aberdeenshire  585  556  558  606  552  632  692  687  599  518  530
Moray  172  178  177  166  163  175  194  198  141  137  126
Tayside  1,168  1,047  1,072  977  1,021  927  931  909  741  750  741
Angus  363  271  315  306  280  284  286  232  192  220  202
Dundee City  359  316  326  270  332  253  270  281  219  237  226
Perth & Kinross  446  460  431  401  409  390  375  396  330  293  313
Argyll & West Dunbartonshire  533  545  545  550  535  469  436  455  436  376  344
Argyll & Bute  290  316  299  323  310  268  288  282  275  231  211
West Dunbartonshire  243  229  246  227  225  201  148  173  161  145  133
Forth Valley  746  759  683  657  701  675  680  634  538  545  567
Clackmannanshire  97  106  86  83  102  88  85  77  69  64  84
Falkirk  344  349  308  310  285  297  310  303  240  261  269
Stirling  305  304  289  264  314  290  285  254  229  220  214
Dumfries & Galloway  425  447  440  497  443  475  419  388  360  319  318
Ayrshire  943  891  934  853  807  766  698  706  576  653  579
East Ayrshire  313  272  308  261  256  240  230  215  201  204  173
North Ayrshire  330  319  353  308  280  264  248  225  177  230  205
South Ayrshire  300  300  273  284  271  262  220  266  198  219  201
Greater Glasgow  2,491  2,435  2,430  2,271  2,197  2,052  1,901  1,761  1,581  1,537  1,521
East Dunbartonshire  222  184  192  190  186  149  141  147  141  140  114
East Renfrewshire  132  171  152  127  138  119  109  103  104  116  97
Glasgow City  2,137  2,080  2,086  1,954  1,873  1,784  1,651  1,511  1,336  1,281  1,310
Lothians & Scottish Borders  1,395  1,365  1,368  1,370  1,304  1,180  1,257  1,152  1,083  993  1,027
East Lothian  224  204  215  206  217  210  193  174  199  159  169
Midlothian  230  243  231  233  236  210  221  207  193  177  215
Scottish Borders  450  442  456  448  371  336  383  363  307  274  263
West Lothian  491  476  466  483  480  424  460  408  384  383  380
Edinburgh  1,656  1,465  1,548  1,405  1,445  1,330  1,285  1,192  1,179  1,180  1,163
Highlands & Islands  744  800  799  784  747  738  702  724  574  567  593
Eilean Siar  48  59  49  41  41  44  60  39  42  34  28
Highland  628  678  680  657  621  626  586  616  475  488  513
Orkney Islands  40  32  34  40  40  27  36  27  27  13  22
Shetland Islands  28  31  36  46  45  41  20  42  30  32  30
Fife  740  719  754  701  677  606  576  588  556  448  421
Renfrewshire & Inverclyde  676  752  681  640  654  631  565  458  485  509  473
Inverclyde  198  224  196  172  199  206  195  146  165  155  136
Renfrewshire  478  528  485  468  455  425  370  312  320  354  337
Lanarkshire  1,671  1,592  1,561  1,530  1,471  1,443  1,309  1,260  1,096  1,082  966
North Lanarkshire  804  796  777  791  750  754  639  664  585  569  512
South Lanarkshire  867  796  784  739  721  689  670  596  511  513  454
Scotland  14,343  13,917  13,919  13,438  13,110  12,507  12,159  11,557  10,295  9,978  9,747

Note: Detailed figures for casualties by local authority area can be found in Reported Road Casualties Scotland table B

Table 6.3 Reported vehicles involved by type of vehicle 
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Pedal cycle  852  840  794  808  801  740  768  821  810  855  930
Motor cycle1  1,200  1,153  1,033  1,098  1,091  1,109  1,050  1,038  859  828  888
Car  18,194  17,726  17,718  16,770  16,398  15,585  15,061  14,580  12,804  12,394  12,182
Taxi  504  487  477  469  474  413  367  391  355  387  333
Minibus  114  111  109  84  87  74  65  79  57  52  54
Bus/coach  1,059  1,069  1,131  1,040  979  836  796  697  611  616  517
Light goods  858  795  976  912  923  924  918  760  752  783  803
Heavy goods  999  929  800  739  697  643  654  554  546  464  453
Other  374  348  365  556  509  480  541  469  447  365  325
Total  24,154  23,458  23,403  22,476  21,959  20,804  20,220  19,389  17,241  16,744  16,485

1.  Includes all two wheeled motor vehicles.

Table 6.4    Reported child casualties and all casualties, by severity; and the slight casualty rate
Child casualties All casualties1 Slight casualty rate per 100 million veh-kms
Killed Serious injury Killed & Serious Slight injury Total Killed Serious injury Killed & Serious Slight injury Total
2004-08 average 15 325.4 341 1,678 2,019 292 2,605 2,897 14,200 17,097 32.47
2002 14 513 527 2,218 2,745 304 3,229 3,533 15,742 19,275 37.90
2003 17 415 432 2,048 2,480 336 2,957 3,293 15,463 18,756 36.78
2004 12 372 384 2,011 2,395 308 2,766 3,074 15,428 18,502 36.13
2005 11 357 368 1,804 2,172 286 2,666 2,952 14,933 17,885 34.96
2006 25 350 375 1,647 2,022 314 2,635 2,949 14,320 17,269 32.46
2007 9 269 278 1,539 1,817 281 2,385 2,666 13,573 16,239 30.39
2008 20 279 299 1,390 1,689 270 2,575 2,845 12,747 15,592 28.66
2009 5 253 258 1,215 1,473 216 2,288 2,504 12,540 15,044 28.36
2010 4 223 227 1,150 1,377 208 1,969 2,177 11,161 13,338 25.66
2011 7 203 210 1,106 1,316 185 1,877 2,062 10,715 12,777 24.69
2012 2 194 196 968 1,164 174 1,974 2,148 10,528 12,676 24.18
Per cent change: 2012 on 2004-08 average
  -87 -40 -42 -42 -42 -40 -24 -26 -26 -26 -26

1. Including those casualties whose age was not known.

Table 6.5  Reported casualties by mode of transport and age group, 2012
Numbers           Rates per 1,000 population
age not known Children 0-15 Young Persons 16-24   Adults 25-59 Older Adults 60+ Total Children 0-15 Young Persons 16-24  Adults 25-59 Older Adults 60+ Total
Pedestrian 2 519 357 728 363 1,969 .57 .57 .29 .29 .37
Pedal cycle 1 121 123 602 54 901 .13 .20 .24 .04 .17
Motorcycle 0 8 200 608 49 865 .01 .32 .24 .04 .16
Car 2 450 2,008 4,083 1,104 7,647 .49 3.19 1.62 .88 1.44
Taxi 0 4 28 101 32 165 .00 .04 .04 .03 .03
Minibus 0 0 9 39 21 69 .00 .01 .02 .02 .01
Bus/Coach 0 43 40 191 165 439 .05 .06 .08 .13 .08
Light goods 0 9 66 257 20 352 .01 .10 .10 .02 .07
Heavy goods 0 4 9 115 12 140 .00 .01 .05 .01 .03
Other1 0 6 29 82 12 129 .01 .05 .03 .01 .02
Total 5 1,164 2,869 6,806 1,832 12,676 1.27 4.56 2.70 1.47 2.39

1.  Including any casualties whose mode of transport is not known

Table 6.6 Costs of injury accidents by type of road, and of 'damage only' accidents
Injury Accidents All injury accidents Damage only accidents
Motorway Other Non Built-up Built-up All accidents
£ million at 2012 prices
2002 68.2 752.4 619.3 1,439.8 416.7 1,856.5
2003 49.2 781.0 606.6 1,436.7 402.4 1,839.2
2004 39.4 729.6 582.2 1,351.1 402.0 1,753.1
2005 44.3 688.0 552.3 1,284.6 387.9 1,672.5
2006 38.5 719.7 558.7 1,316.8 378.5 1,695.4
2007 41.9 651.2 504.6 1,197.8 360.7 1,558.5
2008 42.1 621.0 539.4 1,202.5 349.4 1,551.9
2009 44.0 555.8 448.5 1,048.2 331.0 1,379.2
2010 28.8 509.3 408.9 947.0 296.1 1,243.1
2011 35.7 424.8 420.9 881.4 289.4 1,170.8
2012 28.8 420.3 428.5 877.6 281.9 1,159.5