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 2016 was published in late-2017 and is available to download below:
The 2016 Road Casualty Review identified the following areas of concern, for which more detailed analysis would be undertaken:
- Consistently over the five years, 2012 to 2016, collision and casualty numbers have remained highest on ‘A’ class roads across the county.
- There has been a fluctuating, but downward trend in the number of car users killed or seriously injured in Somerset. Car users continue to represent the greatest proportion of collisions compared to other road users.
- Despite an overall fall in the number of casualties in the 16-24 years age group they are still over represented in the KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) figures compared to other age groups.
- Over the 5 year period, the number of KSI pedal cyclists in road collisions has steadily decreased from 23 to 13, a 44% reduction.
- Increase in slight severity casualties between 2015 and 2016.
- Overall increase in child casualties.
- Increase in KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) in the 60+ age group, with the figure of 54 in 2016 being 7 (15%) higher than the target.
Trends in Overall Road Casualties and Collisions in Somerset
Trends in KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) Road Casualties and Collisions in Somerset
- In 2016 there were 1,553 recorded casualties resulting from collisions on the roads of Somerset: 25 of these were fatal, 158 were serious and 1370 were slight severity casualties.
- Overall, killed and seriously injured collisions and casualty numbers have shown a downward trend in the last five years. Slight severity injuries however have fluctuated over that period culminating in an end of period increase.
- There were 3 motorcyclist fatalities on Somerset’s roads in 2016, one more than in 2015. Motorcyclist fatal collisions made up 13% of all fatal collisions in 2016.
- 12% of all fatal casualties in 2016 (3 out of 25), occurred on the M5 or A303 trunk roads through Somerset, as opposed to 27% (6 out of 22) in 2015. Collisions on trunk roads are reportable by Local Highway Authorities, but Highways England is responsible for any collision reduction work on these roads.
- Over the period, 50% of all casualties resulted from collisions on ‘A’ class roads (Inc. Trunk) whilst 33% were from collisions on unclassified roads.
- In 2016, 57% (13) of all fatal collisions occurred on ‘A’ class roads, compared to 64% (14) in 2015.
- 1,054 collisions resulting in personal injury on Somerset roads were recorded in 2016. 23 of these were fatal, 138 serious and 893 slight severities.
- The annual number of fatal collisions has fluctuated over the past 5 years, increasing from 27 in 2012 to 32 in 2014, before falling to 23 in 2016.
- The number of serious casualties, whilst fluctuating over the five years, has demonstrated a fall compared to 2012.
- The number of pedestrian casualties rose from 138 in 2012 to a high of 170 in 2013, before fluctuating and finishing at 154 in 2016.
- In 2013 the number of motorcycle collisions fell by around 18% from the previous year before increasing 26% the following year. The 2015 figure for motorcycle collisions remained at a similar level to the 2014 figure before dropping by 60 incidents (36%) in 2016. During the 5 year period the number of licensed motorcycles owned in the Southwest increased by 2.4%.
- Consistently over the five years, collision and casualty numbers have remained highest on ‘A’ class roads across the county and, in 2016, 54% of KSI casualties occurred on this class of road. Car users represent the greatest proportion of road user types involved in these collisions, with one third of those occurring at a ‘T’ junction.
- 52% of collisions on ‘A’ roads occur where there is a speed limit of 40 mph, or below.
- 48% of collisions on ‘A’ roads were recorded where the speed limit was greater than 40 mph, 55% of KSI casualties occurred on these rural sections.
Child Casualties (aged 0-15)
The number of children injured as pedestrians in 2016 fell by 19% from the previous year. Children killed or seriously injured as pedestrians, whilst remaining relatively low, fluctuated during the last 5 years, and increased by 50% to 9 in 2016 from the previous year.
KSI child cyclist casualty figures increased from 1 in 2012 to 3 in 2016. The total number of child cyclists injured in road collisions increased gradually over the last 5 years, the latest figure of 23 casualties in 2016 was 21% (4 casualties) above the number in 2012.
Figures for children injured as car passengers remained at roughly the same level from 2012 to 2015, but experienced a big increase to 74 in 2016. The number of children killed or seriously injured as car passengers fluctuated to a high of 6 casualties in 2015 before returning to 2 in 2016, the same level as in 2012.
Casualties amongst Young People (aged 16-24)
- In 2012, 28% of the KSI casualties in the 16-24 years age group were motorcycle users and 57% were car users. By 2016 this had changed to 22% motorcycle and 63% car users.
- 2014 appeared to be an abnormally low year for most user type KSI casualties in this age group but the 2016 figure was lower again.
- Pedal cyclist KSI casualties finished 2016 at their lowest level for five years.
- 33 (23% approx.) of all Somerset fatal casualties were from the 16-24 years age group. In total, over the 5 year period 2012-2016 there were 143 fatal casualties resulting from 132 fatal collisions.
- 2015 was an exceptionally low year for fatal casualties in this age group but 2016 was lower again, falling to end 25% lower than the year before.
- In 2016, all of the fatalities in the 16-24 years age group were car users or occupants.
Casualties amongst Older People (aged 60 or over)
- Pedestrian casualties, after peaking in 2013 at 47 casualties, fell to 32 in 2015 and then increased by almost 13% to 36 in 2016.
- Pedal cyclist casualties fell to 9 in 2014 before climbing to 15 in 2016. Although only two casualties different, overall there was a 12% fall in numbers over the five year period.
- The 5 year average for the number of motorcyclists from this age group who were injured was approximately 10. Apart from the 13 recorded in 2013, there was generally a deviation of plus or minus 2 from this average.
- The number of car user casualties in the 60 years or over age group increased by 18% (36) between 2012 and 2016.
- Car users have shown to have the highest number of fatal collisions amongst the 60+ years age group over the period.
- Older drivers, through their driving experience are more likely to be safer on the roads. However, if they are involved in a collision, the injury is more likely to be serious and recovery takes longer than with a younger person. 21% of the resident population of Somerset is over 65 and of the fatal casualties recorded in 2016, 11 out of 25 (44%) were in this group. This figure is disproportionally high.
Somerset Road Safety Team Activities
In 2016 over 13,000 members of the public benefitted from road safety training or advice delivered by Somerset Road Safety, including:
- 2,700 year 6 children passed a Bikeability course
- 1,600 year 8 students attended a Ghost Street presentation
- 1,200 year 10 students attended a Too Soon To Die presentation
- 2,200 year 12 students attended a Contract 4 Life presentation
- 1,400 senior drivers attended a Route 60+ workshop
- 1,300 motorcyclists received training or advice