The good news is that roads in Great Britain are some of the safest in the world, and over recent years have been getting even safer. In 2006 there were 31,845 people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on roads in Great Britain, 1,174 of them in Essex. By 2013 this had fallen to 23,370 for Great Britain and 689 for Essex.
The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) is working to continue this reduction in casualty numbers, with a target to reduce the number of KSIs in 2020 by 40% from the 2005-2009 average. However, this is merely an interim target as we believe one casualty is one too many, so the ultimate aim is for no KSIs on the roads in Essex – this is known as ‘Vision Zero’. During 2015 in Essex, 44 people were killed in road traffic collisions, so to acheive this ambitious vision everyone needs to work together and make small changes to how they use the road.
Essex Casualty Trends (2011-15)
Number of casualties in Essex
The following chart summarises road traffic casualties by severity for the SERP area over the most recent five years for which data is available.
The chart below compares the number of KSI casualties in the SERP area for different modes of transport over the last three years. Car occupants account for the greatest number of casualties, as cars comprise the vast majority of traffic. In terms of risk to the individual, motorcycle riders are the most vulnerable, as in 2015 they only made up about 0.8% of traffic but accounted for 26% of KSI casualties.
The chart below compares the number of KSI casualties in the SERP area for different age groups over the last three years.
The charts below use the “KSI per million vehicle miles” measure to compare the risks associated with various modes of transport in the SERP area. The number of vehicle miles for Essex is estimated from national travel survey data and local population statistics. Essentially this measure shows the number of deaths and serious injuries to users of each mode of transport, for every million miles travelled. This is an approximate way of comparing the risk of travelling the same distance by each of the transport types shown (and seeing how that risk has changed over a five year period).
The chart above shows motorcycle riders are at considerably greater risk of becoming a KSI casualty than other types of road user.
The chart below shows 17-20 year olds are at considerably greater risk of becoming a KSI casualty than other age groups. The risk then decreases with age, before increasing again for people over the age of 70.
Motorcycle riders are not a single group of likeminded people, although predominantly male there are many differences in age, experience and type of bike. The chart below shows rider age and engine size for riders invovled in all recorded injury collisions in Essex during 2015.
This shows young riders on bikes with smaller engines (up to 125cc) account for a very large proportion of motorcycle collisions. These riders tend to be inexperienced and have many collisions at junctions on urban roads. There is also a notable group of riders aged 40-54 on bikes with 500cc+ engines. These riders are involved in various types of collision, including on urban roads during weekday commuting times and more serious collisions on rural roads at the weekend and summer evenings.
2020 Interim Target
The Safer Essex Roads Partnership believes that the risk of being killed or seriously injured (KSI) when making a journey on the public highway is not an acceptable risk, and that one KSI casualty is one too many. That is why any casualty reduction targets are effectively interim milestones on the way towards the ultimate vision of zero KSI casualties on our roads. The graph below plots progress towards the 2020 interim target of 607 KSI. The figure of 607 was chosen as it represents a 40% reduction on the average annual KSIs for the 2005-2009 period.
Our word clouds show the most commonly used descriptive words from records for serious and fatal collisions that took place during 2015 (images courtesy of tagul.com). Each cloud shows the words that appear most frequently for each user group, where somebody from that user group contributed towards the collision.
Click here to see all our word clouds…