Road deaths are lower now than they have ever been since records began

Last year, the number of people killed in UK road accidents dropped by 16 per cent from 2222 to 1857, the lowest fatality rate since records began in 1926 according to the Department of Transport.

The number of car occupants killed on the roads last year was down to 842, a 20 per cent drop on 2009. 403 motorcyclists were killed (15 per cent down on 2009 although motorcycle traffic was down by 9 per cent) and 405 pedestrians died, 19 per cent down on 2009.

Deaths among cyclists went up, however. 111 cyclists died on the roads, 7 per cent up on the 104 fatalities in 2009, even though cyclist traffic levels are were up just 0.5 per cent year-on-year.

Although traffic levels fell by two per cent in 2010 compared to a year earlier, the casualty rate reported to police was 677 per billion vehicle miles, compared to 709 casualties per billion vehicle miles in 2009.

Overall, a total of 208,655 people were classed as casualties in road accidents reported to the police in 2010.

Hilton Holloway

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