December casualties: over‐60s at risk on the roads

  • 20 per cent more pedestrians aged 60 and over are killed or seriously injured in December
  • On average each year, there are over 16,000 senior pedestrian casualties on UK roads, with 3,275 of these either killed or seriously injured
  • On average each year, 177,982 adult pedestrian casualties are recorded on the roads – enough to almost fill Wembley Stadium twice
  • One in every 284 adults will be a pedestrian casualty on the roads each year

A new report1 published today by Direct Line Car Insurance and PACTS (the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety) reveals the vulnerability of older pedestrians on the roads. According to the latest road casualty statistics taken from police STATS19 records there are 20 per cent more deaths and serious injuries amongst those aged 60 and over in December compared to the monthly average. Each year on average there are over 16,000 senior pedestrian casualties on UK roads, with 3,275 of these either killed or seriously injured.

Those aged 60 and over are most vulnerable between 4:00pm and 6:00 pm in December. People in this age group are 26 per cent more likely to be killed or seriously injured between 4:00pm and 5:00pm and 30 per cent more likely between 5:00pm and 6:00 pm compared to the average for the rest of the year.

It is not just older age groups that are especially vulnerable as pedestrians. On average each year, 177,982 adult pedestrian casualties are recorded on the roads, almost enough to fill Wembley Stadium twice. On average, one in every 284 adults will be a pedestrian casualty on the roads each year, with 22,158 killed or seriously injured.

The link between pedestrian casualties and level of wealth is well established. Consequently many of the parliamentary constituencies with high levels of poverty have the highest pedestrian casualty rates (relative to population size). Tottenham tops the list with a rate 144% higher than the national rate, with constituencies in Lancashire and Yorkshire also appearing along with other London Boroughs.

Table one: Parliamentary constituencies with highest pedestrian casualty rates

Highest casualty rates Percentage over the national rate
Tottenham 144 per cent
Bradford East 111 per cent
Preston 107 per cent
Brent Central 101 per cent
Croydon North 101 per cent
Blackburn 100 per cent
Blackpool South 97 per cent
Vauxhall 95 per cent
Bradford West 89 per cent
Edmonton 88 per cent

Source: Direct Line and PACTS, 2016

Pedestrian casualty rates tend to be lower in wealthier areas with lower population densities, often with only small market towns rather than larger cities. West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine ranks as the parliamentary constituency with the lowest resident casualty rate, which is 59 per cent below the national average. Rural areas tend to have shown more progress in reducing pedestrian casualties, although not exclusively. Most progress was made in Cheadle with a 43 per cent reduction in casualties versus the national average.

Table two: Parliamentary constituencies with lowest pedestrian casualty rates

Lowest casualty rates Percentage under the national rate
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine 59 per cent
Buckingham 58 per cent
South Northamptonshire 58 per cent
North Dorset 57 per cent
North Herefordshire 56 per cent
South Cambridgeshire 55 per cent
Haltemprice and Howden 54 per cent
South East Cambridgeshire 54 per cent
Ross, Skye and Lochaber 54 per cent
Monmouth 54 per cent

Source: Direct Line and PACTS, 2016

Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line commented: “Pedestrian casualties on the roads remain far too high. We need to invest resource in understanding the traffic control measures that can be put in place to help reduce pedestrian casualties. There is a clear increase in casualties amongst the older generation in December, so both drivers and pedestrians are urged to use caution on the streets.”

David Davies, executive director of PACTS commented: “The Dashboard shows which constituencies have the most serious road safety challenges and which are making fastest progress. There is great variation across the country and we hope this will be a catalyst for action.”

The analysis comes as Direct Line and PACTS publish the third edition of the Constituency Road Safety Dashboard. This index calculates the casualty rates for residents of each parliamentary constituency in Great Britain relative to the local population. The dashboard now includes, for the first time, data from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau on the number of crashes involving uninsured drivers. The dashboard can be accessed at: http://www.pacts.org.uk/dashboard/

PACTS is the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, a registered charity bringing together safety professionals and legislators to identify research‐based solutions to transport safety problems. It supports the Transport Safety All‐Party Parliamentary Group. See http://www.pacts.org.uk/

Notes to editor

1Research conducted by Road Safety Analysis Ltd. Indices for uninsured drivers involved in crashes developed using data provided by the MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) 2003 – 2015. Indices for KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) casualties based on analysis of the Government’s official reported road casualty statistics taken from police STATS19 records, collated, analysed and published by the Department for Transport (DfT). All figures stated are average KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) casualties for the six‐year period covering 2010 – 2015. Region‐specific data is available on request. The figures in the Dashboard show casualties suffered by the residents of the constituency regardless of whether the collision occurs within the constituency or elsewhere.

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