Advertisement

"It's the DfT's job to know car accident stats - but it doesn't"

Are the roads getting safer or more dangerous? Mike Rutherford wants to know - but the DfT doesn't seem to

Opinion - crash

Before attempting anything in life, it's not a bad idea to be aware of the risks involved. With this in mind, how many people were killed or injured in traffic accidents on the roads, cycle lanes and pavements over the last 12 months or so?

Year on year and all things considered, are they getting safer or more dangerous? We deserve to know. And it's the job of the Government's Department for Transport to know. But it, er, doesn't. True, the DfT has a rough idea of accident stats. That's why it has just quietly published provisional estimates for reported road casualties in Britain. Yet it's very precise, when it concludes:

Advertisement - Article continues below

"There were 1,780 road deaths in the [full] year ending September 2015. A total of 23,700 people were killed or seriously injured. And there were 188,830 casualties of all severities."

What to do after an accident

Really? How can this arm of Government arrive at such exact 'conclusions' when it admits that data from several police forces has gone 'missing' - a word the DfT uses to describe casualty figures that have gone AWOL, apparently?

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Another contentious issue is that pedestrians, drivers and car occupants killed or injured when a plane crashed on to a Shorearm highway last summer has led the DfT and other agencies to conveniently 'exclude any road casualties from the [Shoreham] statistics'. In other words, the innocent folk killed or wounded in cars or on foot at Shoreham on that dreadful day are not being classed as road accident victimes - thereby keeping casualty figures for road users/pedestrians artificially low. After all, road accident stats can't be seen to increase under the Conservative Government as Labour would cash in on such an unwelcome development.

Safest cars on sale now

Another major flaw with the DfT's data is that in its 'road user type' charts, it correctly includes cars and car occupants, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians - yet it inexplicably excludes buses, coaches, taxis, lorries, vans and trams. Also absent are other accident-prone road-based machines such as construction, agricultural and road-sweeping vehicles, refuse trucks and more. And left-hand-drive HGVs deserve a category of their on on the grounds that, arguably, they're the most lethal vehicles on Britain's increasingly hazardous roads. Aren't they? I'm tempted to ask the DfT. But I suspect it doesn't know... or care.

Should the DfT know more about the casualties on Britain's roads? Let us know what you think in the comments below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020
'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'
News

'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'

Just because premium brands can offer cheap finance deals, it doesn't mean that they can fob buyers off with poor customer service, says Deputy editor…
15 Apr 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW iX3 SUV plugs in with 285 miles of electric power
BMW iX3

New 2021 BMW iX3 SUV plugs in with 285 miles of electric power

Electric version of popular X3 SUV lands next year with 150kW charging and long-distance efficiency promised
14 Jul 2020
New Peugeot 3008 could morph into a coupe-SUV in 2022
Peugeot 3008

New Peugeot 3008 could morph into a coupe-SUV in 2022

Peugeot’s next-generation 3008 looks set to receive a radical redesign in two years’ time, evolving into a style-focussed coupe-SUV
13 Jul 2020
Range Rover and Range Rover Sport get new straight-six diesel in 2021 update
Land Rover Range Rover

Range Rover and Range Rover Sport get new straight-six diesel in 2021 update

The Range Rover can now be specced with a new six-cylinder 48-volt mild-hybrid diesel engine and a choice of fresh special edition models
14 Jul 2020