DfT release 2011 annual report for road casualties

Cycling deaths slightly down but serious injuries rising, plus we take a quick look at SMIDSY and pedestrian data

by Dave Atkinson   September 27, 2012  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

The Department for Transport has today published its 2011 Annual Report on Reported Road Casualties for Great Britain, a year in which 107 cyclists, four fewer than in 2010, lost their lives on the roads of England, Scotland and Wales.

As we reported when the headline figures were released in June, the figures also showed a sharp rise in the number of cyclists seriously injured.

We’ll be providing a full analysis of the data relating to cycling shortly, but in the meantime here are some details from the report – you can download a copy here – that caught our eye.

‘Sorry mate, I didn’t see you’ (SMIDSY)

The DfT has provided data (p. 82) for incidents involving a pedal cycle and another vehicle where failure of a driver or rider to look properly was deemed to be a contributory factor. These data cover all severities of incidents, not just KSI.

In incidents involving a pedal cycle and HGV, 18 per cent of cyclists were assessed not to have looked properly, versus 30 per cent of drivers.

For pedal cycles and LGVs, the percentages were, respectively 18 per cent vs 49 per cent.

In incidents in which a bus or coach was involved they were 32 per cent vs 24 per cent, for cars 21 per cent vs 45 per cent and for motorcycles 38 per cent vs 22 per cent; in each case, the first figure refers to the cyclist.

Failure to look properly was also deemed to be a factor in 16 per cent of bike-on-bike collisions.


During 2011, two pedestrians were killed and 99 seriously injured in reported single vehicle incidents involving a bicycle (p. 133). According to DfT definitions, the report includes incidents that take place on footways (pavements).

That compares to 383 deaths and 4,947 serious injuries in incidents in which motor vehicles were involved. Cars excluding taxis and minicabs were involved in 233 fatal incidents, and motorcycles in 18.

Time of day

The number of incidents in which cyclists were killed or seriously injured during 2011 (p. 170) shows two peaks each day, and although the data cover both weekdays and weekends, it’s clear that these coincide with the morning and evening rush hours.

The peak in the afternoon spans four hours, twice the length of the morning one, with the end of the school day prior to evening rush hour a likely explanation. Some 14.9 per cent of cyclist KSIs occurred between 7am and 9am, while 33.5 per cent took place from 3pm to 7pm.

Non-traffic accidents

During 2011, some 6,399 cyclists were admitted to hospital after being involved in non-traffic accidents (p. 115). Males aged 16-64 made up 41.2 per cent of these admissions, while children aged 15 years and younger accounted for 44.3 per cent – 34.7 per cent being boys, and 9.6 per cent girls.

2 user comments

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It's the first rise in UK road fatalities and serious injuries for 17 years, which should be of major concern to anyone. The UK Government has cut road safety budgets, with the result that road accidents are on the increase and the impact they have on the UK economy far outweighs and small savings, without even considering the human cost.
The data for drink driving offences are also of concern.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said, “The increase in deaths and serious injuries because of drink driving is absolutely shocking. It accounts for more than half of the increase in road deaths. In 2013, we must see a drink driving education campaign, backed up with enforcement, to put an end to these completely unnecessary deaths.


posted by OldRidgeback [2576 posts]
27th September 2012 - 16:53


OldRidgeback wrote:
In 2013, we must see a drink driving education campaign, backed up with enforcement, to put an end to these completely unnecessary deaths.

This (my emphasis) is the only way it will work. Sadly, far too many drivers have shown complete disregard for being asked nicely to be considerate towards those with whom they share the roads.

Lack of 'stick' and a tiny 'carrot' is part of why the £80k spent on the recently announced campaign that isn't even supported by cycling campaign groups won't make any difference.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2410 posts]
28th September 2012 - 16:06

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