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Reported Road Casualties Great Britain Main Results: 2009

Logo: National Statistics Important Note: Figures for 2009 have been revised slightly since the publication of Road Casualties in Great Britain 2009 on 24 June 2010. The number of seriously injured casualties has increased by six to 24,690 and the number of slightly injured casualties has increased by 40 to 195,234

The Department for Transport has published statistics on road casualties in accidents reported to the police in Great Britain in 2009, according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Key results

  • The number of people killed in road accidents fell by 12 per cent from 2,538 in 2008 to 2,222 in 2009. In accidents reported to the police 26,912 people were killed or seriously injured in 2009, 6 per cent fewer than in 2008. There were just over 222,000 road casualties in Great Britain in 2009, 4 per cent less than in 2008.
  • The number of deaths among car users in 2009 was 1,059, 16 per cent less than in the previous year.  The number seriously injured in accidents reported to the police fell by 6 per cent to 10,053.  Total reported casualties among car users were 143,412, 4 per cent lower than 2008. Car and taxi traffic remained at about the same level as in 2008.
  • Reported Child casualties fell by 6 per cent. The number of children killed or seriously injured in 2009 was 2,671 (down 5 per cent on 2008). Of those, 1,660 were pedestrians, 7 per cent down on 2008. 81 children died on the roads, 43 less than in the previous year, a reduction of over a third.
  • There were 500 pedestrian deaths, 13 per cent less than in 2008. Reported seriously injured casualties fell by 9 per cent to 5,545. The all pedestrian casualty figure fell to 26,887 in 2009, 6 per cent lower than 2008.
  • The number of pedal cyclists killed fell by 10 per cent from 115 in 2008 to 104 in 2009. The number of seriously injured rose by 6 per cent to 2,606. The total casualties among pedal cyclists rose by 5 per cent to 17,064.
  • There were 472 motorcycle user fatalities in 2009, 4 per cent lower than during 2008. The number reported as seriously injured fell by 4 per cent to 5,350. Total reported motorcycle user casualties fell by 4 per cent to 20,703 in 2008. Motorcycle traffic rose by 2 per cent over the same period.  The all motorcycle user casualties figure for 2009 of 20,703 is 4 per cent lower than in 2008.   
  • There were 163,554 road accidents reported to the police involving personal injury in 2009, 4 per cent fewer than in 2008.  Of these, 21,997 accidents involved serious injuries, 5 percent fewer than in 2008 (23,121).

Road Casualties Online

  • Road Casualties Online, a new website which allows members of the public to perform their own analysis and examination of Reported Road Accident Statistics was launched on 24 June 2010.
  • The website, developed by the Road Safety Research and Statistics team (RSRS) is aimed at putting the Road Accident Statistics in the hands of the public, making them more accessible to a wider audience. Users will be able to access the website and look at road accident statistics across Great Britain and in their Local Auhority for a range of years, from 2004-2008. Data for 2009 will be added later in the year.
  • The statistics in this site are based on personal injury road accidents that are reported to the police and collated by the Department for Transport.
  • This is a new site, we will be adding more background information in the next few weeks and developing the site further over the coming months.


  • These statistics refer to personal injury accidents in 2009 on public roads (including footways) which became known to the police. Figures for deaths refer to persons who sustained injuries which caused death less than 30 days after the accident. A more comprehensive analysis of 2009 casualty statistics will be published later this year in Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2009 Annual Report.
  • Comparisons with death registrations show that very few, if any; road accident fatalities are not reported to the police.  It has long been known that a considerable proportion of non-fatal casualties are not known to the police, as hospital, survey and compensation claims data all indicate a higher number of casualties than are reported. Our best estimate produced in 2008, derived from the Department’s National Travel Survey (NTS) data with cross-checking against other data sources, is that the total number of road casualties in Great Britain each year, including those not reported to police, is within the range 680 thousand to 920 thousand with a central estimate of 800 thousand. A discussion of how these estimates have been derived, and their limitations, together with information on complementary sources of data on road accidents and casualties, are contained  in an article published by the Department in Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2008 Annual Report (Article 5, pages 58-79).
  • A further article and revised estimates will be published in Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2009 Annual Report, due for publication at the end of September 2010.
  • The data are therefore not a complete record of all injury accidents and this should be borne in mind when using and analysing the data. However, police data on road accidents (STATS19), whilst not perfect, remain the most detailed, complete and reliable single source of information on road casualties covering the whole of Great Britain, in particular for monitoring trends over time.

Publication details

Published on 24 June 2010 by Transport Statistics.

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For information about release of this product see United Kingdom National Statistics Authority.

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