Road death figures remain constant27 Sep 2018

1,793 people died on Britain's roads in 2017

One thousand seven hundred and ninety three people were killed on Britain’s roads in 2017, one more than in the previous year.

Official data shows that there has now been little change in the annual number of fatalities since 2010, though the latest figure is 39% lower than that seen in 2007.

A further 24,831 people were seriously injured and 144,369 slightly hurt.

Looking at the fatalities by road user type:

  • car occupants – 787 (44% of the total)
  • pedestrians – 470 (26%)
  • motorcyclists – 349 (19%)
  • cyclists – 101 (6%)
  • other – 86 (5%)

Of the car occupants who died, 27% were not wearing seat belts, up from 20% in 2016 and the highest proportion since 2013 when the data fist began to be published.

When it comes to the fatality rate per billion passenger miles travelled:

  • motorcyclists – 116.9 deaths per billion miles
  • pedestrians – 35.6
  • cyclists – 30.9
  • car – 1.9

Almost a third (31%) of the people who died in 2017 were aged 60 and over, including 216 older pedestrians (up from 186 in 2016) and 47 older motorcyclists (up from 36 in the previous year).

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“In a global context our road safety record remains relatively good, but we have now had eight years where no real progress has been made in cutting the total number of deaths on Britain’s roads, while the numbers for pedestrians and motorcyclists in 2017 have actually got worse.

“That’s why we are leading a pilot road crash investigation project which we hope will lead to a better understanding of the root cause of accidents and what further we might need to do to get back on a downward trend.

“Much attention is rightly focused on death and injury amongst young road users but today’s figures remind us that there are issues at each end of the age spectrum. People over 60 accounted for 13% of motorcyclist fatalities and 46% of pedestrian fatalities in 2017. Keeping mobile is so important for maintaining the quality of life for older people, but these numbers suggest that we need to do more to enable older people to stay mobile safely.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.

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