Somerset Road Safety's aim is to reduce collisions and casualties on the roads of Somerset, creating safer communities and improving the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
Each year, the team produce a Somerset Road Casualty Review, using injury collision data from Avon and Somerset Police. The latest report, covering casualties and collisions in 2018 was published in late-2019 and is available to download below:
The 2018 Road Casualty Review identified the following areas of concern, for which more detailed analysis would be undertaken:
- Consistently over the five years, 2014 to 2018, collision and casualty numbers have remaimed highest on ‘A’ class roads compared to other road classes across the county.
- Car users continue to represent the greatest proportion of both collisions and casualties in comparison to other road users and there has been a fluctuating, but overall increase, in the number of KSI car user casualties in Somerset; total car user casualty numbers however, have
undergone an overall downward trend.
- Pedal cyclist casualties, along with serious and overall KSI casualties have inconsistently fluctuated year on year since 2013, with a general decrease in overall casualties; and KSI figures have fallen since 2017.
- Despite an overall fall in the number of casualties in the 16-24 years age group, they are still over represented in the KSI figures compared to other age groups.
- Whilst showing a gradual decline from 2014 to 2016, KSI figures for the 25 to 59 years age range showed a sudden increase in 2018.
- Increase in KSI in the 60+ age group, with the figure of 57 in 2017 being 10 (21%) higher
than the target. This age group has previously been identified as a casualty issue and a detailed analysis report recommending road safety improvements targeted specifically at mature drivers was rolled out in early 2019.
Trends in Overall Road Casualties and Collisions in Somerset
Trends in KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) Road Casualties and Collisions in Somerset
- In 2018 there were 1,373 recorded casualties resulting from collisions on the roads of Somerset: 26 of these were fatal, 168 were serious and 1179 were slight severity casualties.
- Overall, both killed and seriously injured (KSI) and slight severity collisions and casualty numbers have shown a fluctuating but general downward trend in the last five years.
- There were 6 motorcyclist fatalities on Somerset’s roads in 2018, one fewer than 2017 and 3 fewer than 2014; motorcyclist fatalities constituted 23% of all fatal collisions in 2018, the highest vehicle group user fatalities after cars.
- This year, the M5 and both A303 and A36 trunk roads have had the highest number of fatalities in the past five years (8), constituting 31% of Somerset’s fatal casualties in 2018; collisions on trunk roads are reportable by local highway authorities, but Highways England is responsible for any collision reduction work.
- On average over the five-year period, 48% of all collisions were on ‘A’ class roads (excluding trunk roads), whilst 20% derived from collisions on unclassified roads and 17% on the motorway and trunk roads; in 2018 alone however, 35% of fatalities occurred on A roads, 31% on motorway and trunk roads and 15% on unclassified roads.
- In 2018, the casualty figures from both A and unclassified road collisions declined from both the previous year of 2017 and the five year period of 2014, while B roads retained a static figure over both of these periods.
- 971 collisions resulting in personal injuries on Somerset roads were recorded in 2018; 23 of these were of fatal severity, 131 were serious and 817 were slight.
- As above, the annual number of fatal collisions rose to a high of 32 in 2014, before falling to the lowest recorded number of 20 in 2017.
- The number of serious collisions has declined or remained static, demonstrating a fall of 17% between 2014 and 2018.
- The number of pedestrian collisions has steadily decreased from the highest figure of 154 in 2014, to its lowest of 126 in 2018.
- 2014 saw a spike in motorcycle collisions at 165, however this dropped between 2015-18 where the figures range between 108-114 collisions annually; despite the overall declining trend over this five-year period, the number of motorcycles licensed in Somerset has seen a growth of 7.3%.
- Consistently over the five years, collision and casualty numbers have remained highest on all Somerset A roads (including trunk roads), accounting for 52% of KSI casualties in 2018; 33% of A road collisions also occur at a T junction; additionally, car users represent the far greatest proportion of road user types involved in collisions along these roads.
- In 2018, 47% of collisions on A roads occurred where there is a speed limit of 40 mph, or below.
- 53% of collisions on A roads were recorded where the speed limit was greater than 40 mph in 2018; these collisions account for 61% of KSI casualties on A roads and 34% of all KSI casualties.
Child Casualties (aged 0-15)
Pedestrians: The number of children injured as pedestrians has fallen by 18% since 2014 and 30% since 2017, despite the 2015 spike in the figures.
Pedal cyclists: Child pedal cyclist casualties fluctuated, rising from the lowest of 11 casualties in 2014, to the highest of 23 in 2016, before declining once again to 13 in 2018. KSI casualties also fluctuated between zero and three over the five years, but observed a static trend between 2014 and 2018 as both had zero KSI casualties.
Car passengers: Child car passenger casualty figures have demonstrated a fluctuating, but inclining trend between 2014 and 2018; there was a 15% overall increase during this period and a 8% increase since 2017. KSI casualties have also seen an overall incline, from three to six casualties from 2014 to 2018.
Casualties amongst Young People (aged 16-24)
- Between 2014 and 2018, there were changes to the composition of the 16 to 24 road user groups with regards to KSI casualties; pedestrian casualties have increased from 7% of 16 to 24 year old KSI’s to 16%, pedal cyclist from 4% to 0%, motorcyclists from 33% to 19% and car users from 57% to 63%.
- Pedal cyclist, motorcyclist and car user KSI casualty figures have all fallen since 2014, pedestrian figures however have varied but seen a slight overall increase; the total number of 16 to 24 year old KSI casualties however has seen a 30% overall reduction.
- Between 2014 and 2018, 15% (19) of all Somerset fatalities were between 16 and 24 years old; there were 128 fatalities in total over this period; in 2018 there were 26 total fatalities with only 8% (2) between the ages of 16 and 24.
- Between 2014 and 2018 there was a 71% decrease in 16 to 24 fatalities, from seven to two; there was also a fall in fatalities from three to two between 2017 and 2018.
- In 2018, there were two fatalities: one on a motorcycle, the first over the past five years; the other was a car user, which accounts for the majority of fatalities in this age group.
Casualties amongst Older People (aged 60 or over)
- In 2018, there were 246 casualties in the 60 year old or over age group, this has declined by 17% since both 2017 and 2014; during the same period in this age group however, there was a 4% increase in KSI casualties, from 45 in 2014 to 47 in 2018, but a decrease of 18% since 2017 (57).
- Pedestrian casualties were at their highest in 2014 (39) and their lowest in 2018 (27), demonstrating a 31% decline over the five years and a 16% decline since the previous year of 2017; pedestrians also comprise 11% of total 2018 casualties in this age group.
- There has been an incline in the 60 years and over age group pedal cyclist casualty figures between 2014 (9) and 2018 (13), but there are two fewer casualties since 2017 (15); pedal cyclists also make up 5% of total casualties within this age group in 2017.
- In 2018, motorcyclists comprised just 4% of all casualties aged 60 or over; motorcyclist casualties within this group have not moved at ten casualties in both 2014 and 2018, but they have seen a 38% reduction since the previous year of 2017 (16).
- Car users have a significantly higher number of fatal collisions amongst the 60 years and over age group between 2014 and 2018 (32 total fatalities) compared to: pedestrians (8), pedal cyclists (1), motorcyclists (6) and other vehicles (4).
Somerset Road Safety Team Activities
In 2018 over 28,000 members of the public benefited from road safety training or advice delivered by Somerset Road Safety, including:
- 2,986 Year 8 students attended a Ghost Street presentation.
- 1,416 Year 10 students attended a Too Soon To Die presentation.
- 2,637 Year 12 students attended a Contract 4 Life presentation.
- 1,936 Year 6 children passed a Bikeability course.
- 910 senior drivers attended a Route 60+ workshop.
- 1,710 motorcyclists received training or advice.
- Over 10,578 children received a Truck and Child Safety (TACS) presentation.