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Road deaths decline in latest DfT stats but motorway deaths rise

The new data shows that in 2013, 1,713 people were killed in road accidents, the lowest number on record, and half as many as in 2000. A total of 21,657 people were seriously injured while the total number of casualties of all severities in 2013 was 183,670.

Car occupant fatalities in 2013 decreased to 785, down 2% compared with 2012 and 44% compared with the 2005-2009 average.

There was also mixed news for vulnerable users, with a 5% decline in pedestrian deaths to 398 pedestrian deaths. The number of pedal cyclists killed decreased by 8% from 118 in 2012 to 109 in 2013.

However, the number of motorcycle users killed increased by 1% from 328 in 2012 to 331 in 2013, the first increase since 2006.

And the number of people killed on motorways increased by 14% to 100 in 2013, the first increase since 2005, Seriously injured casualties also increased by 1% to 660, the first increase since 2007,

Commenting on the figures, IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: ‘The IAM welcomes the overall decrease in road deaths in 2013 which maintains the recent downward trends despite our roads getting a little busier as the economy picks up upward.  We are however still killing nearly five people every day.

‘It is worrying that motorways have seen a 14% increase in deaths which is only partly explained by a 1.5% increase in traffic on them.  It is vital that the government keeps a close eye on these figures as the Highway Agency rolls out its programme of widespread hard shoulder running as opposed to proper motorway widening.

‘The problem of death and serious injury among motorcycle riders remains and the IAM want to see more use of training opportunities and partnerships to improve both skills and attitudes.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.