Credit for UK road casualties reaching their lowest level since records began can be given to better road safety enforcement, wider adoption of technology, reducing speed limits, and also increased congestion. 

That’s according to Ian McIntosh, CEO of RED Driving School, citing Department for Transport figures showing that there were 153,315 casualties of all severities on UK roads in 2019.

This was the lowest level since the statistics in their current form began in 1979, and also a 5% reduction compared with 2018.

The number of fatalities was down year-on-year by 2%, to 1,748.

McIntosh said it was particularly encouraging to see the number of casualties aged 17-24 down by 6%.

He said: “These figures are the result of the long-term progression in vehicle safety, such as the introduction of airbags, as well as better road designs and evolving driver attitudes towards social issues, including wearing seatbelts and drink driving.

“The UK also boasts one of the strictest driver training regimes in the world, with the recent introduction of independent driving to the practical test empowering learners to take control of safety decisions at the early stages of their driving career.

“In more recent years, the decrease in accidents has been led by UK drivers adopting better speed control, a direct result of increased and more accurate speeding enforcement on the roads. The introduction of ‘yellow vulture’ speed cameras, wider implementation of telematic technology, and reduced speed limits such as 20mph zones outside schools are all contributing factors.”

McIntosh said that increased traffic volumes had also helped to reduce speeding.

He added: “At RED we anticipate that these figures will continue to improve over the coming years – although data for 2020 will likely see a falsely positive skew due to the huge reduction in driving throughout lockdown.”