Chapter 6 Reported Injury Road Accidents
Chapter 6 Reported Injury Road Accidents
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.
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
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).
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)
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 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 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.
4.1 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
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.
Note: Detailed figures for casualties by local authority area can be found in Reported Road Casualties Scotland table B
1. Includes all two wheeled motor vehicles.
1. Including those casualties whose age was not known.
1. Including any casualties whose mode of transport is not known