The number of deaths and serious injuries of vehicle occupants fell by 5% in the year ending June 2012, compared with the previous 12 months, according to the latest Department for Transport (DfT) statistics.
However, there has been a year-on-year increase in deaths and serious injuries of vulnerable road users.
Comparing the year ending June 2012 with the year ending June 2011 deaths and serious injuries rose by 5% for pedestrians, 9% for pedal cyclists and 5% for motorcyclists.
The trend in child road casulaties (aged 0-15) remains downward.
Overall, there has been a 3% year-on-year fall in total accidents (of any severity).
Quarter 2 2012 versus quarter 2 2011
The picture is rather different when compare Q2 2012 against Q2 2011.
On this basis Q2 2012 saw a 6% drop in total deaths and serious injuries, with a greater fall for some vulnerable road users.
There was a 8% drop for pedal cyclists and a 14% drop for motorcyclists.
However, single quarter comparisons should be treated with caution as they are subject to distortion by short-term factors such as unexpected weather.
The wet weather in Q2 this year is likely to have reduced levels of pedal cycle and motorcycle traffic particular.
There is also evidence that the wet weather may have affected road user behaviour through reducing traffic speeds.
Compared to the same months in 2011, observed speeds on the local ‘A’ roads network were 4% lower in April 2012 and 1% lower in June 2012.