The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but unfortunately road traffic accidents are an inescapable reality of any busy road network. And with more and more vehicles travelling on the UK’s roads (40.8 million licensed vehicles as of March 2023 according to the RAC Foundation) the potential for accidents keeps increasing year on year.

The Department for Transport releases an annual report on road casualties in Great Britain. Their 2022 report contains a number of statistics which can help to indicate the most common types of road traffic accident that involve injury, and we’ve pulled out some key facts and figures below. Perhaps greater awareness of this data can help us to anticipate some of the main dangers we face on the roads.

Road traffic accident injury figures

In 2022, there were 135,480 recorded casualties on the roads of Great Britain.

This was actually a decline of 12% when compared with 2019’s figures, which is certainly a positive sign. But of those 135,480 people injured in road traffic accidents, 1,711 were killed and 28,031 were seriously injured.

The road-users involved

The majority of road-users travel by car, so it will come as little surprise that car occupants represent the majority of those injured in road traffic accidents:

The most common locations and road types

The statistics indicate that certain road types are more commonly the site of road traffic accidents that cause injury.

In 2022, 63% of all the recorded casualties happened on urban roads (which are defined as roads in towns and cities with a population of 10,000 or more in England and Wales, and 3,000 or more in Scotland).

However, accidents happening on rural roads accounted for a greater proportion of fatal accidents, with 59% of fatalities occurring in rural road accidents. There could be many reasons for this, though influencing factors are likely to include the higher speed limits generally set on rural roads, and the more challenging conditions often faced on them.

The most common contributing factors

Some of the main causes of road traffic accidents can be inferred from looking at the most common contributing factors. These are recorded in relation to fatal accidents, but could easily apply to accidents which cause serious injuries as well.

The five most common contributing factors reported were:

  1. Loss of control
  2. Failing to look properly
  3. Acting carelessly, recklessly, or in a hurry
  4. Speeding
  5. Failing to judge another road-user’s path or speed

Depending on the circumstances, these factors can often be sufficient to show that a driver has not been driving with the level of care or skill required of them by law. And this is a key part in establishing that the driver was negligent. If a driver is negligent, they can be held responsible (usually by their insurers having to pay compensation) for any damage or harm their conduct has caused.

Getting help after a road traffic accident

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and suffered an injury due to someone else’s mistakes or carelessness, you might be able to make a compensation claim.

We may also be able to help if you’ve suffered the tragic loss of a loved one to a fatal road traffic accident.

For advice or to start your claim, get in touch with us.

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Catherine Reynolds
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