Covid Lockdown Causes Road Accident Drop

Road traffic accident casualties fell significantly in the year to June 2020.

This is according to new statistics from the Department for Transport (DFT).

In the year ending on 30 June 2020, 1,580 people were killed in accidents on our roads. This was a 14% drop compared to the year before.

There were a total of 131,220 people injured across all severities – from slight to fatal. This was 16% less than in the previous year.

Impact of Covid lockdown

The drop across accidents and people being injured was largely down to the lockdown imposed in March 2020. This response to the Covid-19 pandemic included restrictions on travel, which led to far fewer vehicles on the roads.

Motor vehicle traffic fell by 14% over the year ending June 2020. The DFT found that traffic levels fell by 8% between January and March compared to 2019 and then by a huge 49% from April to June – the height of the first national lockdown.

April saw the fewest number of casualties after a road accident in the first half of 2020. The DFT reported 3,930 casualties of all severities that month, compared to the 12,310 seen in January. This was a 67% fall from April 2019.

Cyclists still vulnerable

Cyclists were the one group of road users where a notable decrease in the number of people killed or seriously injured wasn’t seen. In the year ending June 2019, 3,760 cyclists were killed or seriously injured. In the year ending June 2020, 3,720 were involved in the most serious accidents.

This is likely because the amount of cyclist traffic has increased during lockdown, while motor traffic fell. The DFT found that at one point, the UK saw 384% the typical amount of cyclist traffic on the roads. On the same day, there was just 39% the usual number of cars present.

Cycling proved hugely popular when lockdown was first imposed, with bicycle retailers selling out. Bikes were in demand as both a form of exercise and a way of commuting for those who would have normally used public transport.

Regional differences

Scotland saw the highest number of people killed in the year to June 2020. Regional police force data shows that in those 12 months, 82 people lost their lives in road accidents in the country.

London’s Metropolitan Police reported the second highest figure – 69 people were killed. But across all injury severities, the Met reported the highest number in Britain. 15,711 were injured in the capital.

Cleveland Police reported the fewest road deaths in that period, with seven people dying in accidents. The force also reported the lowest total number of casualties from road accidents in the year to June 2020 – 463.

If you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident that was caused by someone else, it’s possible to take action against them. If you were injured, you could get justice in the form of compensation to help you recover.

To find out how First4Lawyers and our expert solicitors could help you, just get in touch. We’re here to help you through a difficult time.


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