New figures released by the government have shown that there has been an increase in the number of road casualties in the UK, with a 4% increase in the total number of serious injuries on our roads in 2014. Fatal injuries have also increased by 1%.
22,630 people were seriously injured in road accidents and a further 1,730 people were tragically killed in 2014. These figures are up from 21,728 serious injuries and 1,711 fatalities in the same period in 2013. Clearly, this increase in road casualties highlights the need for changes in safety on our roads.
Brake, the leading charity on road safety, believe there are three key areas where changes need to be made:
1. Their GO20 campaign encourages the speed limit to be lowered to 20mph in urban areas. This would improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as other road users.
By reducing the speed limit on these roads, the safety of vulnerable people such as children, the elderly, and disabled people, would be greatly increased. This lower speed limit can also vastly reduce stopping time in cars, meaning there would be fewer casualties.
2. Introducing staged driving licenses so that young people can gradually learn the skills of driving and improve their experience, without putting people’s lives at risk.
One in five serious or fatal road accidents involve a driver who is under 25. A staged driving license would involve at least 12 months of learning, which would be followed by an initial test, and then a 2 year period where there would be initial driving restrictions (e.g. not being able to drive late at night).
3. Increased penalties and zero tolerance to drink driving or being under the influence of drugs by everyone across the UK.
Their campaign ‘Not a drop, not a drag’ aims to get people to pledge not to drink any alcohol, or take any drugs, when they are driving. They are also calling for the government to reduce the drink driving limit and to enforce greater testing and policing, making this a priority for road safety.
Julie Towsend, the Deputy Chief Executive at Brake commented on the increase in road casualties, “These casualty increases are the tragic result of failure of ambition. They come on the back of three years of flat-lining road death and serious injury figures, during which the government congratulated itself on having ‘some of the safest roads in the world’, rather than making forward thinking decisions and setting targets to secure further reductions. We need a commitment to a long-term vision of nobody being killed or seriously injured on our roads, rather than settling for the status quo. Every road casualty causes appalling suffering, and every one can be prevented, but only if we make the right moves”.
How Freeclaim Solicitors can help with your road accident claim
At Freeclaim Solicitors, we have a specialist team experienced in serious road accident claims. Unfortunately, we see daily the devastating impact these accidents have on the lives of our clients, as well as their loved ones.
Sarah Moore, Serious Injury Solicitor at Freeclaim commented, “Any road casualty increases need to be addressed by the government and not ignored. Safety on our roads needs to be paramount to reduce these accidents which so often ruin people’s lives. Everyone at Freeclaim Solicitors support the great work Brake are doing, and are fully behind their campaigns to improve road safety for all road users.”
If you have been involved in a serious road accident, Freeclaim Solicitors could help you claim the compensation you deserve and look to ensure you get the right treatment you need to recover from your injuries. We have over 30 years’ experience in handling serious road accident claims and have claimed millions of pounds in compensation on behalf of our clients. Call us today on 0800 612 7340 to speak to one of our specialist road traffic accidents solicitors about starting your claim.