General Road Safety Advice

The UK holds one of the best records for road safety in Europe and across the world. Between 1980 and 2012, the number of UK road related deaths decreased from approximately 5,500 per year to approximately 1,754. Despite this reduction in road related deaths, national road safety figures highlight that there are approximately 5 road related deaths in the UK each day.

General Road Safety Statistics

  • In Scotland, there were 12,575 reported road casualties in 2012. These are the lowest recorded road casualty figures in Scotland for over 60 years.
  • In the UK in 2012, approximately 195, 723 were injured in road related incidents. Out of these incidents; 1,754 people were killed, 23,039 were seriously injured and 170,930 were slightly injured.
  • On average, there are between 660,000 and 880,000 road casualties in the UK each year. Amongst these figures, an estimated 80,000 of these casualties were serious injuries.
  • Over 400 people are killed each year in road related accidents which involve young drivers aged between 17 and 24 years of age.
  • Approximately 400 people a year are killed in the UK in speed-related road incidents. These crashes are often the result of one or more of the drivers involved exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the conditions of the road.
  • Roughly 280 people a year are killed in the UK in drink-driving incidents. In these circumstances, one or more of the drivers involved was recorded by police as exceeding the legal drink drive limit of; 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood in your body, 35 micrograms of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of breath and 107 micrograms of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of urine.
  • In the UK, around 200 people a year are killed as a direct result of not wearing a seat belt.
  • Approximately 300 people a year are killed in the UK due to careless driving practices.These incidents involve one or more of the drivers involved driving in a careless or reckless nature, or driving as the result of ‘being in a hurry’. As well as careless driving, over 120 people a year are killed as a direct result of aggressive driving or ‘road rage’ practices.
  • Approximately one third of the fatal and serious road crashes in the UK each year involve drivers who were at work; i.e. lorry drivers, taxi drivers, bus drivers etc.
  • According to Auto Express magazine, over 400 accidents a year could be prevented by providing better lighting for stretches of motorway. The magazine highlighted that approximately 1,273 accidents occurred in 2002 on unlit sections of motorway at night. Speaking to the magazine, an RAC spokesman commented that if motorists were provided with better road lighting facilities, then they would be able to see much further ahead which in turn would give them more time to react in an emergency. Moreover, drivers are also more likely to fall asleep on dark roads. The RAC state that each road related death costs the tax payer £1 million, whereas additional road lighting facilities only costs £21,000 per km.


It is recommended that you practise the following road safety measures. By doing so, you can exponentially reduce your likelihood of being involved in a road traffic incident:

  • Find out the speed limits for the particular roads on which you frequently travel and drive within these limits at all times.
  • Reduce your speed in poor weather conditions or at night when there is poor visibility.
  • Regularly check your vehicle’s oil and water levels, windscreen wipers, mirrors, brakes and tyres in order to ensure that your vehicle is in a safe condition for driving.
  • Do not feel pressured to drive faster by other motorists.
  • Remain alert at all times for other drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, cyclists, children, animals as well as any obstacles or potential road hazards.
  • Read the most recent addition of the Highway Code in order to update your knowledge of speed limits and any changes in UK road laws and driving regulations.
  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • If you feel tired, take a rest from driving as your reaction times will be reduced.
  • Never drink and drive!