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Searchable and zoomable interactive map shows incidents by severity, class of user and age of victim

In one of the most compelling applications of data visualization we’ve yet seen, a data mapping firm has used police data to produce a map of road traffic casualties in Great Britain between 2000 and 2010, broken down by class of user, age and severity of incident. The interactive map is embedded at the bottom of this article. If you want to see what has been happening on the road you travel on over the past 10 years this is the place to look.

The map was compiled using 10 year's worth of the Department for Transports STATS19 - the annual reported road casualty statistics for Great Britain, these record everthing from reported minor injuries through to deaths on the roads and although not every minor injury will make it in to the statistics any incident involving injury that was reported to the police will be there.

The effect is stunning – not only because it shows in a clear, graphic form data that can often be hidden away in official statistical spreadsheets, but also because it highlights the sheer scale of carnage on Britain’s roads in the first decade of this century.

During that period, 32,995 people have been killed in road traffic incidents, a shade under the average attendance at FA Premier League football matches this season; almost 3 million people have been injured, equivalent to one in 20 of the population.

The searchable and zoomable interactive map has been produced by transport data mapping specialists ITO World and is based on police dataset Stats19, which is published by the Economic and Social Data Service.

Like us, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is zoom in on where you live or work and see how the recorded casualties compare to your own recall of incidents in the area; we did find that a couple of incidents we know took place in Bath don’t appear on the map, although whether that’s due to an omission in the dataset or a glitch in the software is impossible to say.

Some common themes do emerge, wherever you live. Town and city centres, where traffic tends to move more slowly and there are increased numbers of people walking or on bikes, see a concentration of fatalities among pedestrians and cyclists; in the capital, shown in the picture above, green squares – used to denote a cyclist who has lost their life – dominate in the Square Mile of the City of London itself and the area immediately surrounding it, while in the West End, fatalities are most likely to be pedestrians.

There are of course practical implications for the data, since they can help highlight specific locations or routes where there is a particularly high concentration of casualties, whether killed, seriously injured or slightly injured; it should be borne in mind though that other factors may be involved – a busy road will typically attract a higher number of incidents than a quieter one, unless the latter is particularly hazardous.

The data visualization has been published ahead of tomorrow’s world day of remembrance for road traffic victims. In making it available, ITO have said "The information provided within these maps should not be used to identify the individuals concerned," and we'd ask you to bear that in mind when it comes to making any comments.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

32 comments

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chris4567 [27 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm the green triangle at the junction of Jamaica Road and West Lane in Southwark - an unobservant driver turned left into me.

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cavasta [216 posts] 4 years ago
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33,000 deaths in a 10 year period? We must be insane to tolerate this  17

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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I was going to upload a graphic to show how i thought the roads in my area were pretty safe, but then i looked at the triangles and circle's closer up and saw my couple of scrapes there aswell

Here is the graphic http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/5065/crashpd.jpg

Red round the box are people i knew personally and black is someone who was known to my family, quite shocking really to think thats just in and around 30 odd miles of my small village

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richred_uk [71 posts] 4 years ago
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"almost 3 million people have been injured, equivalent to one in five of the population"

That would make the population 15 Million - UK population is about 62 Million, so closer to 1 in 21 of the population.

Interesting map though.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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cavasta wrote:

33,000 deaths in a 10 year period? We must be insane to tolerate this  17

Not really, that works out to 3,300 a year or just over 9 a day and only a small bit of googling shows that there are roughly

31,035,791 cars on British roads (2009)
450,000 Lorries (2008)
1.3 million motorbikes

So then thats almost 33 million, thats without taking in cyclist's and every other type of transport you can think of like buses

I also have an issue with the way it says "almost 3 million people have been injured, equivalent to one in five of the population"

Last time i checked the UK population was a shade over 62 million, so how can 3 million be 1 in 5 remembering that this is a national survey and not just one country

My math, 20% of 62 million would be 12.4 million, to get 3 million you have to come down below 5% to be exact it would be 4.83871% of the population

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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richred_uk wrote:

"almost 3 million people have been injured, equivalent to one in five of the population"

That would make the population 15 Million - UK population is about 62 Million, so closer to 1 in 21 of the population.

Interesting map though.

Thanks, that's what I meant.. blame the head cold. Bleurgh.

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starchild [21 posts] 4 years ago
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Brilliant representation of something quite horrific.

Love the fact you can embed it in your own site/blog.

Never thought there was much point to reporting various incedents and minor injuries I've received till now!

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cavasta [216 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:
cavasta wrote:

33,000 deaths in a 10 year period? We must be insane to tolerate this  17

Not really, that works out to 3,300 a year or just over 9 a day and only a small bit of googling shows that there are roughly

31,035,791 cars on British roads (2009)
450,000 Lorries (2008)
1.3 million motorbikes

So then thats almost 33 million, thats without taking in cyclist's and every other type of transport you can think of like buses

Maybe. But that doesn't make it acceptable. Like I say, we must be insane to tolerate 3,300 deaths per year. Statistically speaking, that figure may be a drop in the ocean but 3,300 deaths is 3,300 deaths, whichever way you look at it. Moreover, each and every one of those deaths will have had a devestating affect on family, work colleagues and friends.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:
cavasta wrote:

33,000 deaths in a 10 year period? We must be insane to tolerate this  17

Not really, that works out to 3,300 a year or just over 9 a day

Compare it to the railways. In the same period analysed, there were five fatal incidents on the GB rail network with three or more people killed (the most serious being Selby in 2001, ten dead).

Almost without exception, those incidents with multiple fatalities result in an enquiry that receives an awful lot of local and national press coverage and result in recommendations being made and hopefully lessons learned.

We've seen pretty much the equivalent of a Selby every single day on the country's roads over that ten-year period.

Is that acceptable?

Where's the public enquiry?

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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Simon_MacMichael wrote:

Compare it to the railways. In the same period analysed, there were five fatal incidents on the GB rail network with three or more people killed (the most serious being Selby in 2001, ten dead).

Almost without exception, those incidents with multiple fatalities result in an enquiry that receives an awful lot of local and national press coverage and result in recommendations being made and hopefully lessons learned.

We've seen pretty much the equivalent of a Selby every single day on the country's roads over that ten-year period.

Is that acceptable?

Where's the public enquiry?

But thats a bit misleading to compare it to the rail network, when most of it is controlled by computers and systems which most of the time work and change lights and signals, change the position of rails so trains switch between them, I don't know figures to suggest how many trains are in the UK, so can't go on percentages

BUT, how many accidents on the rails were human error vs system error? The fact is, EVERY driver on our roads is different and therefore, unless you can remotely control every vehicle on the nations roads then there will ALWAYS be crashes and fatalities

The thing this site doesn't break down, unless i've missed it is, These deaths, how many were single vehicle, bad weather or something similar where the blame can't be laid on another driver? I think this whole site is misleading everybody by the way its been done

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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In the UK in 2009, there were 156,090 deaths from cancer. So over 10 years just as an average using 2009 as an example 1,560,900 would have died from cancer thats 4272 every day over 10 years so on that basis, i have a 475% higher chance of being diagnosed and dying from cancer than getting killed on the UK roads

I think thats a much better example of how dangerous the roads are in comparision to something that has a high mortality rate, not rail deaths which we all know in this country, the rail system, although late, old and prone to break downs in pretty much the safest way to travel

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam, the comparison to the railways was more than anything else a comment on the numbers involved, not what lies behind those incidents.

But plenty of them are due to human... well, not "error," but involvement. The motorist involved in the Selby crash got five years.

Of the two next most serious incidents, seven dead in each, one was due to a driver choosing a level crossing as the site of his suicide.

There are related data on road casualties that would give further insight into road casualties. Perhaps that's something ITO will look at incorporating in the future. Or perhaps it's too difficult right now to introduce that many variables into the equation and produce a visualization that works.

But there are things that can be done to reduce the death toll. 20mph zones in urban areas, enforcement of laws prohibiting mobile phone use while driving, and so on.

Whether those who make and enforce our laws choose to prioritise that is another issue altogether.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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Don't get me wrong, i do like that road deaths are being highlighted like this, it may make some people think about their own driving, but until its broken down a bit further it just a way to show some people in pictures what is already available in writing, so its almost "a idiots guide to"

I quite agree something needs to be done about enforcing existing laws around various things including mobile phones and speed limits, BUT again, this is all down to money, look how the police force is being cut left, right and centre, reducing its ability to deal with these issues

As for 20mph zones in urban areas, while in theory this would become a great ideal, its just impossible to enforce in reality.

I'll show you an example local to me just because i know about it, This picture is Aboyne, the next big village down the road to me, all the roads i have marked orange are between 20 and 30 mph, the main road running right through the village "Ballater Road" has a 20mph at certain times of the day, I can't find the document because it seems to have been removed for the local council site, but it shows that more accidents happened in the 20mph time rather than the 30mph

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/5541/aboyne.jpg

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cavasta [216 posts] 4 years ago
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I suspect one of the reasons enquiries are held after train crashes is because of a train's passanger capacity, and therefore because of the potential number of people that were/are/could have been at risk of injury or death. There's nothing on the road that transports the same number of people as a train. Coaches are the nearest, with a capacity of around 55-60. A coach crash with fatalities is usually reported on the national news; individual incidents of car crashes rarely are - unless the number of deaths is more than one or two. Five separate car crashes, all in different locations, which result in, say, one death at each incident is extremely unlikey to make it onto the national news. A crash involving a coach load of people that results in five deaths almost certainly will make the national news.
It's the same following plane crashes. The potential for high numbers of fatalaties in a plane crash is far greater than in a multi-vehicle pile up.

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russcutts [17 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm sorry this is getting ridiculous, you are all just regurgitating various stats and analysing them differently while saying we shouldn't die. Well I'm sorry to be the party pooper here but if there is one constant in the universe it is death. The only and I mean ONLY way to prevent deaths on the road is to not go out. So lets stop firing stats at each other and be realistic, yes it is hard when we loose someone close due to a road accident but there are too many individual factors involved to even begin to protect everyone, the primary one being us humans and our wonderful ability to be stupid. Reducing the speed limit does not reduce the speed of a car. I'm glad they have included all accidents on here as I can just imagine the disgust and ravings if it was only cyclists, you just have to compare cyclists to the poor pedestrian.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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russcutts wrote:

I'm sorry this is getting ridiculous, you are all just regurgitating various stats and analysing them differently while saying we shouldn't die. Well I'm sorry to be the party pooper here but if there is one constant in the universe it is death. The only and I mean ONLY way to prevent deaths on the road is to not go out. So lets stop firing stats at each other and be realistic, yes it is hard when we loose someone close due to a road accident but there are too many individual factors involved to even begin to protect everyone, the primary one being us humans and our wonderful ability to be stupid. Reducing the speed limit does not reduce the speed of a car. I'm glad they have included all accidents on here as I can just imagine the disgust and ravings if it was only cyclists, you just have to compare cyclists to the poor pedestrian.

Not so much a party pooper but some of your comments don't make sense, i'm not wanting to get into an arguement, because i may have got you wrong in this statement

"Reducing the speed limit does not reduce the speed of a car"

So a car travelling at 30mph and a car travelling at 20mph in your eyes are travelling at the same speed?

OR am i totally misreading it and what you mean is, Reducing the speed limit does not reduce the top speed a car is capable of?  39

The other bit i'd like to pick up on, I'm both a cyclist and a pedestrian most of the time apart from when i used public transport as i do not own a car, Why should i compare the deaths of cyclists to pedestrians on this site? Surely cyclists use of the road is at least 75% more than pedestrians? Where i am using the road 100% of the time as a cyclist, i only use the road to cross or where there is no pavement when on foot, so inherently i'm going to be more in danger to other vehicles as a cyclist

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2Loose [35 posts] 4 years ago
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I don't really care about the breakdown statistics, but if these numbers of deaths or SI happened in a single day then they would eclipse those on Sept. 11.

I saw a huge political response to that event, why do I hear nothing to this?

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Rob Simmonds [251 posts] 4 years ago
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2Loose wrote:

I don't really care about the breakdown statistics, but if these numbers of deaths or SI happened in a single day then they would eclipse those on Sept. 11.

I saw a huge political response to that event, why do I hear nothing to this?

You've answered your own question. Because it happened on a case by case basis over the course of a decade.

Incidentally, this helps demonstrate why ghost bikes are a bad idea (making a marginal mode of transport look more dangerous than it is) and why ghost cars (extremely popular and more dangerous) would be much better.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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As much as i hate the idea of ghost bikes, i think ghost cars would just be taking it a little OTT

Plus ghost bikes are going to become a problem soon if every cyclist that dies has one erected in their memory, up here and i know other places around the country, the local council and police are removing roadside memorials for "safety" reasons and if not instantly removed are being taken away after three months

If ghost bikes keep appearing, rather than the government looking at cyclist's safety they will just ban ghost bikes and memorials on "safety" grounds

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OldRidgeback [2616 posts] 4 years ago
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Alarming though the figures are, bear in mind that Italy has roughly the same population as the UK and around twice the fatalities on its roads. Thailand also has a population of around 60 million and has 10 times the fatalities.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_...

I think this says it ALL road deaths per 100,000 people

Marshall Islands
Sweden
San Marino
Malta

The only 4 countries below the UK

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James Warrener [1082 posts] 4 years ago
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Zoomed in on our local area then wished I had't...

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 4 years ago
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I must admit, when I zoomed in on my daily commute route and local area I was pleasantly surprised at how sparse the incidents were - the sad bit being when I zoomed in on the one death on my way to work and found it was an 8 year-old - that killed the mood

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downfader [203 posts] 4 years ago
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Is it every? Can't be surely, I must have misread..?  39

I can't find my collision from '08, or the death in the same year, month earlier, of a local cyclist killed by a drug driver.  39

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paulfg42 [387 posts] 4 years ago
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jimmythecuckoo wrote:

Zoomed in on our local area then wished I had't...

Exactly how I felt. Thought Tyneside wouldn't be too bad but quite a few cycling fatalities. The number of serious injuries to car users in e4ven the most urban of roads in the area is also quite alarming.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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downfader wrote:

Is it every? Can't be surely, I must have misread..?  39

I can't find my collision from '08, or the death in the same year, month earlier, of a local cyclist killed by a drug driver.  39

This is what it says on the ITO website:

"There are a very small number of errors in the data resulting in, for example, incorrect locations. We have removed any data with coordinates that are obviously inaccurate; however ITO World provide no guarantee of the accuracy of the data."

Intereestingly, today the Guardian has published ITO's similar map for the USA - I zoomed in on New York City (took a bit of finding, hidden as it is under so many dots), around 1 car occupant a year killed south of Central Park - but lots of cyclists and many, many more pedestrians.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/nov/22/us-road-...

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Oranj [23 posts] 4 years ago
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Didn't http://www.crashmap.co.uk/ get there first?

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Dramaqueen [22 posts] 4 years ago
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According to this map,, there are NO fatalities or injuries in Northern Ireland. Well, that's very reassuring, but based on the number of near misses I experience in NI on an almost daily basis, somehow I don't believe it. It does make you wonder about the reliability of this presentation.

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wyadvd [128 posts] 4 years ago
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totally meaningless data as there is nothing with which to normalise it ie: average vehicle per km traffic flow rates per year by vehicle type. You need this crucial data to decide if a particular road is in fact dangerouis for the vehicle you choose to drive/ride.

to use an extreme, if a road has only 10 users per km per year and 2 of them are killed in that year its pretty dangerous. If 2 million users per km are on that road per year and only 2 were killed I say it was pretty safe.

there is no data here to make that comparison so you may as well just bin it.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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Dramaqueen wrote:

According to this map,, there are NO fatalities or injuries in Northern Ireland. Well, that's very reassuring, but based on the number of near misses I experience in NI on an almost daily basis, somehow I don't believe it. It does make you wonder about the reliability of this presentation.

Well... the data are for Great Britain, not the UK, as we've made clear throughout. So NI isn't included.

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