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The number of deaths on Britain's roads in decline

23 June 2010

The wider road safety community and the public should take credit for the 12% drop road deaths announced today. Figures for the number of people killed in road accidents reported to the police in 2009, published today, reveal that the number of deaths on Britain’s roads fell from 2,538 in 2008 to 2,222.

Newer and safer cars with more crash mitigation technology including improved air bags and seat restraints have helped to achieve a 16% reduction since 2008 in the number of drivers and passengers killed; however over half the total number of casualties were car occupants - just over 140,000 . The fitment of eSafety systems is certain to have contributed  to the overall reduction in crashes. Systems such as ESC can reduce colissions by some 40%. UK Department for Transport research conducted by Loughborough University in 2007 shows that if all UK cars were fitted with ESC this alone would reduce deaths by 380 each year.

RoadSafe believes that even with advanced vehicle technology deployed in the future, the importance of sound driver training and most importantly life-long learning remains a vital element of any road safety plan. We also believe that those who drive for work (representing some 30% of all drivers involved in crashes) benefit from good management as shown by the champions of The Driving for Better Business campaign.

Commenting on the good news, Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA and RoadSafe advisory panel member said, “Overall, the figures are good news. The reduction in deaths represents another very large fall on top of that achieved in 2008. In two years, we have seen a fall in road deaths of more than 700. It is particularly good that child deaths are now lower than 100, although this is clearly still too many.

The challenge now is to keep this momentum going and continue the reduction in death and injury on the roads in the current economic climate."

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