Last week the Department of Transport released the annual Road Accident statistics which were then turned into very clear graphics by The Guardian newspaper. The results made fascinating reading, not least because the issue of speeding as a notable cause of accidents was notable by its absence.

1901 people died on the UK’s roads last year. Compared to 2010, that was an extra 51 fatalities. However, this fatalities figure is well down (by around a third, according to the Guardian) on second half of the last decade.

While the rate for 'fatalities as car passenger' was up by 6 per cent, it was down 10 per cent for motor cyclists and down four per cent for cyclists. Perhaps more of note was that pedestrian deaths were up by 12 per cent, surely a symptom of the smart phone generation whose eyes are not always on the road ahead.

Overall, 256 pedestrians were killed by cars and taxis, 34 by buses, 18 by motorbikes and two by cyclists.

Surprisingly, the number of road accidents has also tumbled since 2009. There were 203,950 accidents in 2011, down 2 per cent on 2010 and down an amazing 17 per cent since 2009. The deaths of drivers over the blood alcohol limit are also tumbling, down from 560 in 2006 to just 280 in 2011.