Serious and fatal road accidents at highest level in years, official figures show

Queuing traffic

Data published by Transport Scotland last week showed an alarming rise in key areas of road safety.

The Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2019 statistics showed 2,016 people were seriously injured in Scottish road accidents last year.

Statistics show that in 2010 there were 1,969 people seriously injured in Scottish road accidents which gradually fell to 1,584 in 2018 until last year when this figure spiked by 27%.

Officials claim this increase is due to a change in the way Police Scotland records the data – in the past, officers made a personal judgement call to decide whether an accident was serious but now it is done by an automated computer system.

But despite this new system the latest report reveals other shocking trends.

The number of people who died in road accidents are at the highest level in three years – up from 145 in 2017 to 165 in 2019.

The number of pedestrians killed (44) has increased in the last five years and is now back to the same tragic levels recorded in 2015.

And the number of cyclists killed is at a seven-year high (rising from eight in 2014 to 10 in 2019) and the number of cyclists seriously injured (183) is at the highest level in 10 years.

Gordon Dalyell, Partner at Head of our Network department, fears the data shows the authorities still need to tackle lots of issues to ensure road users are safe.

He said: “These figures give cause for concern especially in relation to the safety of more vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians.

“While the reported data is obviously impacted by the change in recording by police officers, there is data here that they cannot attribute to discrepancies in data recording – especially around fatal accidents.

“Progress has indeed been made in recent years in altering infrastructure and speed limits to help keep people safe but these figures clearly suggest more needs done because every accident, every injury and every death causes devastation to thousands of families every year.”