Casualties on the roads of Great Britain

Provisional statistics concerning road casualties in Great Britain in 2013 have been published by the Department for Transport.  They show that overall road deaths are down by 2 per cent.

Main findings include:

  • the number of pedal cyclists killed dropped by 8 per cent to 109
  • the number of seriously injured cyclists fell by 2 per cent to 3,143 – this is the first decrease in seriously injured cyclists since 2004
  • the number of slightly injured cyclists rose by 3 per cent to 16,186
  • there was a 21 per cent decrease in the number of children killed in reported road traffic accidents, reversing the increases seen in 2011 and 2012
  • a total of 48 children (aged 15 or under) were killed, compared with 61 children in 2012
  • total child casualties on the road (15,756) fell by 9 per cent to the lowest total since detailed records began in 1979
  • there was a slight increase of 1 per cent in motorcyclist deaths, which rose to 331 in 2013
  • the number of people killed on motorways increased by 14 per cent to 100 in 2013 (traffic on motorways did increase by 1.5 per cent)
  • in 2013, 21,657 people were seriously injured in road accidents. This total is 43 per cent lower than in 2000. Seriously injured casualties have decreased steadily since 2000, with 2010-2011 being the only year on year increase
  • the total number of casualties of all severities in 2013 was 183,670. Total reported casualties have also decreased steadily since 2000
  • a total of 138,660 personal-injury road accidents of all severities were reported to the police in 2013. This total is the fewest reported accidents in a single year apart from 1926 and 1927, the first two years national records were kept.

Car occupants:

  • car occupant fatalities in 2013 decreased to 785, down 2 per cent compared with 2012 and 44 per cent compared with the 2005-2009 average
  • seriously injured car occupants fell by 7 per cent to 7,641
  • total reported casualties among car users were 109,787; 8 per cent fewer than 2012
  • car and taxi traffic slightly decreased by 0.1 per cent over the same period.


  • there were 398 pedestrian deaths, 5 per cent fewer than in 2012
  • the number of seriously injured pedestrians decreased by 10 per cent to 4,998
  • both killed and seriously injured pedestrians returned to roughly the same levels as in 2010
  • there were a total of 24,033 reported pedestrian casualties in 2013, down 5 cent in comparison with 2012.


“These figures are good news and continue the long term reduction in death and injury on our roads. However, even with these improvements, there are around 5 deaths and 500 casualties a day on the roads, which shows there is still much work to do.  We are likely to see more people walking and cycling in the coming years and we need to ensure people are able to enjoy these activities safely. This will require improving the environment by expanding the number of 20mph roads, safe pedestrian and cyclist routes and increasing driver awareness of the importance of sharing the road safely with these vulnerable groups.”

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)