A report published today confirms a 4% increase in road deaths in 2016 compared with 2015. An average of 5 unacceptable deaths per day.
The report confirms that in 2016 there were 1,792 fatalities, 24,101 persons who were seriously injured and a further 155,491 who suffered slight injury.
The report perhaps puts this into context in that 324 BILLION vehicle miles were driven in 2016.
In a society that is increasingly mobile it is even more important that we focus our resources in the reduction of these collisions which will avoid families having to go through the heartache of losing a loved one or having to care for a family member who has suffered a life changing injury.
A reduction in road traffic collisions would also alleviate some of the pressure from our sorely pressed NHS.
The past few years has seen increased coverage of autonomous vehicles which may in future help with road crash reduction. Until such a development arises we remain dependent upon road safety campaigns and police traffic enforcement to improve driver behaviour. In particular to ensure that driver's are not distracted when driving by mobile phones.
Furthermore, the role of road safety charities remain important in lobbying government to change legislation to improve road safety and, also to provide support services to those who have been bereaved or seriously injured.
On the 8th October 2017 the national road safety charity, RoadPeace, have a team running in the Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise much needed funds to support them in their work and highlight the services they provide to those bereaved by road crash. I am delighted to be a part of that team running for RoadPeace.
The role of our civil law is also of assistance to those who have suffered bereavement or major trauma as a result of a non fault road crash. In a civil claim money can be obtained from the at-fault insurer to make early payments to the family or injured against the cost of a funeral, therapies, loss of earnings, accommodation costs, and other expenses. The insurer will also have to reimburse the NHS for the injured persons hospital treatment up to £48,000 which helps the NHS provide its services to us all.
Whilst the rise in road death is clearly disappointing for road safety there is still a combined determination to reduce it to Nil which we all would like to achieve.
Matthew Claxson specialises in accessing rehabilitation for those with major trauma, and representing at Inquest those who have been tragically bereaved by road crash. Matthew can be contacted on Freephone 0800 157 7611 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moore Blatch is a leading UK law firm, and recent winner of the national "Rehabilitation First 2017" rehabilitation Award in the category of collaboration.
Statistics on personal injury accidents on public roads in 2016. Reported road casualties, compared with 2015 show: an increase of 4% in road deaths to 1,792 a decrease of 3% in casualties of all severities to 181,384 vehicle traffic levels increased by 2.2%