Road Safety News

Scotland: road deaths rise by 14% in 2016

Wednesday 11th October 2017

New statistics show that 191 people were killed in reported road accidents in Scotland during 2016, a year-on-year rise of 14%.

Published by Transport Scotland today (11 Oct), the figures also show that the number of people seriously injured also increased, up 6% to 1,697.

However, the total number of casualties fell by 1% to 10,901 - the lowest number since records began.

Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s transport minister, has described the figures as ‘disappointing’ - but says that Scotland remains on track to deliver the objectives set out in Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020.

The new figures also show that in 2016, there were 1,000 child casualties, a year-on-year rise of 4%. This included 12 fatalities, eight more than 2015, and 167 serious injuries - up from 139.

Looking at road user type, pedestrian casualties fell by 27% to 32 - as did the number seriously injured, down 7% to 396.

There were eight pedal cyclists killed in 2016, three more than in 2015. However, the number of cyclists seriously injured fell by 10% to 148.

The number of motorcyclist deaths and seriously injured both rose. Deaths increased by 11% to 30, while the numbers seriously injured rose 4% to 268.

The objectives set out in Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 are:

  • Fatalities: 175
  • Seriously injured: 1,172
  • Children (under 16) killed: 8
  • Children (under 16) seriously injured: 114

Humza Yousaf said: “The publication today confirms what we know from statistics provided in June 2017. It’s disappointing that there has been an increase in the number of fatalities and the number of people seriously injured on our roads in 2016.

“From last year, we can see that overall casualties fell by 1% between 2015 and 2016 from 10,973 to 10,901, the lowest number since records began, and there are clear longer term downward trends we should acknowledge.

“There are 35% reductions in both fatal and serious injuries compared to the 2004-2008 baseline figures. We remain on track to deliver the objectives set out in Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020.

“Through continued education, enforcement and engineering, we are well placed to progress in the right direction towards our targets, making Scotland’s roads safer for everyone."

Category: Statistics & data.



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Local Authorities and regions do look at trend data over several years as individual years can be blips. Part of the problem is deciding which years could be the blips. For Scotland, is 2016 a high blip or was 2015 an exceptionally low blip? Scotland's transport minister is right to point out that despite the higher number of KSIs in 2016 Scotland is making good progress in their casualty reduction target.

By all means urgently investigate the collisions and casualties on Scotland's "north coast 500" route but in the meantime, continue steady as you go.
Pat, Wales

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

Yes, I was repeating from an article written in the Inverness Times. However as nothing else has changed to cause such a blip in the stats it is a possibilty and as you say, and I agree that the powers that be should be making enquiries into it.

With Crash maps or the latest new Collision Map UK maybe that will show an increase of incidents on the route. Enquiries may confirm that more traffc used those roads. If more incidents ocurred in towns on the route it won't necessarily mean that the route was the cause but it is a possibility. Nothing else having changed.

The question is can we afford to wait for another say 2 year's stats to prove a theory or not as many more lives could be lost in the meantime.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

Bob, the only way of testing your theory is for someone to go over the raw data for Route 66 and then do a comparison with previous years. If true it would reveal some big black spots for incidents and thereby engineering required to reduce them. Increases on stats need to be looked at over a period as one year is not enough to say there is trend going in the wrong direction.
David Cornwall

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

One may wonder why Scotland is now suffering an an increase in its casualty rates. What if anything has changed recently.

The answer to that is the newly created Route 66 around the coast of Scotland. It's some 500 miles long and takes in some of the major towns. According to the Inverness Times many towns and villages on the route saw an increase in trade of some 30% as a result of a larger numbers of sightseers and holiday tourists. That was for the period March to October 2016. However its popularity has apparently led to an increase in accidents on all of the nine main roads covered in the route.

This increase in traffic also includes many more motorcyclists and perhaps that's why the number of incidents and collisions have occurred.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

Thanks for that Pat. I have had a cursary look at this site and it's by no means a comprehensive list. It would appear that many vehicle manufacturers do not submit their vehicles for the rigourous testing. Further that, of the 3 areas of personal safety from car driver/passenger and pedestrian, be that adult or child, it's unfortumately the pedestrian that achieves the lowest safety score.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (0) | Disagree (2)

Euro N Cap ratings include pedestrian vulnerability tests. Look up
Pat, Wales

Agree (10) | Disagree (0)

Perhaps we need to take a leaf out of the road safety book in the 1970s when the actual front areas of vehicles was under scrutiny with attempts made to develop more pedestrian friendly areas that do less injury to any unfortunate pedestrians that came into contact with it.

Nowadays it seems that we have gone far away from that safety feature concentrating on crumple zones when cars hit cars - the norm now seems to be to have a super car. As large a car as possible, brash. imposing and not specifically designed well to absorb and mitigate the impact of a human body hitting it.

With such large and heavier vehicle now becoming cars should we now be looking again at their design?
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (2) | Disagree (7)