Fleet News

Road casualty numbers fall despite rise in traffic levels

ROAD accident casualties decreased by more than 2,500 last year compared to 1997 despite a rise in road traffic levels, according to figures from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Fatalities on Britain's roads in 1998 were 5% lower than in 1997 at 3,421, taking road deaths to their lowest level since 1926, while serious injuries dropped 5% over the same period to 40,834 and the number of slight injuries dropped fractionally to 280,957.

Road traffic levels increased from 284billion miles travelled in the UK in 1997 to 288 billion miles and the AA claim that car occupants and not pedestrians were most at risk of being killed or seriously injured.

Car occupants accounted for half of all road deaths, with almost 500 dying annually in accidents involving only their own vehicle.

Meanwhile, the Government has launched a 'belt-up in the back' campaign aimed at encouraging more people to wear seat belts when travelling in the back of vehicles. Andrew Howard, the AA's head of road safety, said: 'It is irresponsible of drivers not to belt up and even more so if they don't tell their passengers to belt up too. Just a couple of seconds spent putting on a seat belt reduces the chances of being killed in an accident by 50%.'

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