Drop in road deaths and lowest number of collisions on record

The number of deaths on Somerset’s roads fell by 12 per cent last year, the lowest level in five years and bucking the regional trend.

Department for Transport (DfT) figures recorded 22 deaths on the county’s roads whereas nationally there was no change, and in the South West region a 15 per cent increase over the same period.

The statistics also show there were 1,000 injury collisions in the calendar year of 2017  – the lowest number ever reported in the county. However, there was a 4 per cent increase in the number of serious injury collisions from 158 to 164 casualties, echoing the national trend.

Injury collision data is collected by Avon and Somerset Police and analysed by Somerset County Council’s Road Safety Team. A Road Casualty Review is published each year to highlight trends and make recommendations for possible solutions to problems.

The figures for 2018 are currently being monitored and up to the end of June 2018, being the latest available,  there were 14 fatalities, 76 serious and 499 slight injury casualties recorded.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The continued trend of falling deaths and people involved in collisions is positive, but there is more to be done and we’ll continue to work closely with our partners to improve things further through our recently adopted road safety strategy.”

Somerset County Council aims to prevent collisions in a number of ways – from engineering work, targeted training of road users, or requesting support from the police. The Council works closely with a number of other partners to promote safe road use.

The 2017 Road Casualty Review analyses collision and casualty statistics, comparing them to the previous five-year period and focusing on defined target groups – such as road user types and different age groups. The full report can be downloaded from http://www.somersetroadsafety.org.

In 2017, Somerset Road Safety provided training or advice to nearly 23,120 members of the public. This included meeting 5,235 people at public events, training 3,310 motorcyclists, reaching 1,180 senior drivers through Route 60+ workshops, and teaching thousands of school children at various education programmes.