New Department for Transport (DfT) road casualty statistics released today (25 July 2019) reveal a 5 per cent increase in over 60s dying on Britain’s roads last year.  

Pedestrians accounted for 25 per cent of road fatalities in 2018 – down three per cent on 2017. However, there were increases in pedestrian fatalities amongst vulnerable groups: children and older adults:  

  • 586 over 60s died on Britain’s roads in 2018 – up five per cent on the previous year – with over a third of those being pedestrians (202) 
  • Whilst child fatalities were same as the previous year (48), there was an increase in the number of these which were pedestrians. In 2017, 38 per cent of child fatalities were pedestrians but last year this rose to over half (58%) 

Living Streets was established 90 years ago to improve road safety. Its priorities for the next ten years include revising the Highway Code to improve safety for people walking, and a lower default speed limit of 20mph for most roads in built up areas.  

Older people

Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, Living Streets comments: 

“Although the overall number of casualties and fatalities is an improvement on last year, these figures are still incredibly upsetting. Every casualty is a personal story of injury, fear and sometimes grief. 

“It’s extremely concerning to see increases in pedestrian fatalities amongst the youngest and oldest members of our communities.  

“Designing streets which are safe for nine-year olds and 90-year olds - with 20mph speed limits, streets free from parked cars and investment in effective behaviour change programmes – will make them safe for everyone and encourage more people to choose this cleaner and healthier way to travel.  

“Investing in safe, convenient and attractive conditions for walking brings a range of benefits that will help deliver the Government’s priorities around air quality, public health and road safety. To achieve this, the Government has to commit to funding significant improvements for walking in the upcoming Spending Review. 

Figures 

  • 1,782 reported road fatalities (all users) in 2018, down 1% on 2017 when there were 1,793 fatalities;  
  • 454 pedestrian fatalities in 2018;  
  • 160,378 casualties of all severities in reported road traffic accidents in 20186% lower than in 2017 and the lowest level on recordPedestrians accounted for 14% of all casualties;  
  • 586 over 60s died on Britain’s roads in 2018, up 5% on 2017 when 559 died;  
  • More than half (58%) of children killed on our roads in 2018 were pedestrians, up from 37% in 2017.
  • Regional breakdowns of road casualty figures are available from the Department for Transport and accessible here.