Reported road casualties in Great Britain in 2013

The most recent statistics for road casualties in 2013 (PDF, 464kb) are now available from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The statistics show that the number of road deaths in Great Britain (all ages) in 2013 fell by 2% to 1,713 – the lowest figure since national records began in 1926.

Since 2000, road deaths have halved and serious injuries (21,657) are down by 43%.

The total number of personal injury road collisions (138,660) is down 5% to the lowest level since 1926 and 1927, the first two years that records were kept. Traffic levels were broadly stable with a 0.4% year on year increase in 2013.

Children (aged under 15)

In 2013, 1,980 children were killed or seriously injured, a reduction of 13% which reverses the increases seen in 2011 and 2012. The total child casualties (15,756) are down 9% to the lowest level since 1979 (when detailed records were first kept).

A total of 48 children (aged 15 or less) were killed in reported road traffic accidents in 2013, compared with 61 children in 2012, reversing the increases seen in 2011 and 2012.

The number of children seriously injured fell by 13 per cent to 1,932 in 2013.

Factors that contribute to change

The DfT report a number of factors which probably contributed to the falling numbers of people killed or injured in reported road traffic accidents:

Economic climate

Recessions appear to be associated with decreases in road traffic deaths. This was the case in 1990-94 and 2006-10.

Reductions in speed

The average traffic speed in free flow areas as well as the proportion of drivers exceeding the speed limit has decreased over the last decade. Slower speeds appear to help drivers to avoid accidents. They also reduce the severity and number of casualties when they do happen.

Technological and engineering

Improvements to vehicles and highways also help in avoiding accidents and minimising their consequences.

Improved education and training

Greater knowledge and skills results in better and safer drivers.

Trauma care

Improvements in trauma care (and in particular the creation of major trauma centres in England) are likely to have helped improve outcomes once an accident has taken place.

The effect of weather

Weather is also relevant when comparing years as it effects patterns on road accidents and casualties. 2012 was the second wettest year on record whilst 2013 was average in terms of rainfall and temperature. Wet weather reduces the number of vulnerable road users (pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists). There would probably have been more casualties in 2012 if the weather had not been so bad.

About the data

The statistics are based on information reported to the police on personal-injury accidents in 2013 on public roads in Great Britain. They have become known as ‘STATS 19’ after the name of the forms used by the police to record the information. Whilst the information is not a complete record of all personal injury road accidents, they are the most detailed and reliable source of information on road casualties covering the whole of Great Britain.

More information

The statistical release, Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: main Results 2013 (PDF, 464kb) includes links to further detail on the key findings.


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Updated October 2014