Cycling casualties up in Q3 2013, reveal latest DfT stats

Year-on-year data show casualties among other types of road users falling at faster rate

by Simon_MacMichael   February 6, 2014  

Bike casualties rise.png

Figures released today by the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal an 8 per cent rise in cyclist casualties from July-August 2013 compared to the same months of 2012, with the number killed or seriously injured (KSI) up 2 per cent.

Combined with annual figures which show a 2 per cent drop in cyclist KSIs in the year to September 2013 but bigger falls among all other types of road users, the figures are likely to lead to renewed calls to improve cycle safety.

According to the DfT's Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Quarterly Provisional Estimates Q3 2013, some 6,380 cyclists were injured on Britain's roads in the third quarter of last year, up from 5,902 in the comparable period of 2012, a rise of 8 per cent.

Of those, 1,090 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in the three-month period in 2013, against 1,065 the previous year, a 2 per cent rise.

For the third quarter of 2013, total casualties among all road users fell by 3 per cent, with KSIs down by the same percentage. Pedestrian KSIs showed a 10 per cent drop, with all casualties down by 4 per cent. The declines among car users were 4 per cent for KSIs and 3 per cent for all casualties.

Besides people on bicycles, only motorcyclists saw casualty numbers increase during the three-month period, with both all casualties and KSIs up by 1 per cent.

The DfT consistently warns of the danger of reading too much into quarterly statistics since such short-term data can provide a misleading picture due to factors such as the weather.

Indeed, in its report, it says: "The markedly drier weather for 2013 would have likely increased the number of vulnerable road users (particularly motorcyclists and pedal cyclists) on the road, relative to the same period in 2012, thus increasing their relative exposure to accidents."

Nevertheless the rolling 12 month data show that casualty figures for all classes of road users are falling more quickly than they are for bike riders - and as the chart below, supplied by the DfT, shows, over the past decade, it is only cycling casualties that are on the rise.

In the 12 months to 30 September 2013, there was an 11 per cent drop in the total number of road casualties in Great Britain, with KSIs falling by 15 per cent.

Car users saw all casualties fall by 8 per cent and KSIs by 6 per cent, pedestrians by 5 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, and motorcycle users by 7 per cent and 6 per cent.

In contrast, the total number of cyclists injured actually rose slightly - up from 19,087 in the year to September 2012 to reach 19,150 in the latest 12-month period, a rise of 0.33 per cent.

Slight injuries accounted for the rise, with the number of KSIs falling by 2 per cent from 3,302 to 3,230.

The figures do not in themselves prove that cycling is getting more dangerous. Besides variables mentioned above such as the weather, other factors that need to be taken into account include any growth in the distance being cycled, something that is notoriously difficult to assess with any accuracy from year to year.

With the data published today relating to the third quarter of 2013, covering July, August and September they do not account for casualties in the final three months of the year, including a two-week period in November when six cyclists lost their lives in London alone.

The individual data sets can be found here.

 

6 user comments

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"The markedly drier weather for 2013 would have likely increased the number of vulnerable road users (particularly motorcyclists and pedal cyclists) on the road, relative to the same period in 2012, thus increasing their relative exposure to accidents"

I see we're still following the 'acts of blind chance' route to non-explanation. Nothing to do with our stupidly lenient legal system, or piss-poor roads, or the cretinous anti-cyclist bullying of almost every journalist and media clown that gives nobbers 'permission' to use their cars as weapons?

posted by oldstrath [208 posts]
6th February 2014 - 17:38

19 Likes

How many were sole cycle accidents, with no other influence? Is it not the case that it's not cycle safety that's in question, but driver safety?

Not so much a six pack as a barrel!

posted by Bigfoz [76 posts]
6th February 2014 - 18:04

13 Likes

The biggest falls were in the least serious injury category, the fall in deaths was 2%

It's the weather, really? I was under the impression that it is more dangerous for cyclists when drivers are having their view inhibited by rain.

And what Bigfoz said aka, who is to blame for the accidents? that's what I want to know.

posted by kie7077 [567 posts]
6th February 2014 - 20:49

6 Likes

surely cyclists would have stayed at home to watch the first british tdf winner and then the Olympics in july/august 2012, so weren't on the road to have accidents Laughing

posted by mrkeith119 [86 posts]
7th February 2014 - 1:12

5 Likes

Difficult to tell anything much from these figures of themselves really. Except that overall road accidents are down.

e.g. If cyling has had an 11% increase (I think I remember that figure from somewhere) but a 2% increase in KSI. and motoring has had a decrease of .1% (due to more being cyclists). Then it is possible cycling accidents as a percentage of cyclists is actually lower.

As I say without more details these figures really show very little, except their has been less accidents - without accompanying figures of road use for each type of user and mileages covered/ time spent on road, by each type of user.

posted by Giles Pargiter [43 posts]
7th February 2014 - 1:14

5 Likes

Agreed Giles,
If we knew the uptake of cycling, then that would make more sense.
Maybe more pedestrians and car drivers have taken to bikes.
What with 2012 & 2 consecutive British wins in the TDF, we are bound to see more cycling.

posted by cyclingdave70 [30 posts]
7th February 2014 - 7:27

4 Likes