Oxfordshire County Council Road Traffic Accident Casualty Summary 2010

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1 Oxfordshire County Council Road Traffic Accident Casualty Summary!

2 Contents Message from Cabinet Member for Transport... 2 Overview and targets Road casualty statistics... 3 Casualty reduction targets... 6 Responsibilities for delivery of Casualty Reduction measures... 7 Casualties by road user group Pedestrians... 8 Cyclists Motorcycle and Moped Riders Car Drivers Car Passengers Bus and Goods Vehicle Users Supplementary Information Casualties by District Council area Casualties by age and gender Driver / rider home location NHS & Police data comparison Statistical note and definitions Value of accident prevention Web resources Contact details Oxfordshire County Council Road Traffic Casualty Summary 1

3 Message from Cabinet Member for Transport Road traffic accidents continue to place a high cost on our communities and on the people who live and work in them. Road safety concerns and a genuine fear of accidents can all to often be seen as a barrier to our freedom of choice, especially when we think about walking and cycling to our destination. It is pleasing to note that in the overall number of road casualties in Oxfordshire were at the lowest point since our records began, whilst also surpassing the national target that was set 10 years ago. However, with close to 400 people killed our seriously injured on our roads in there is still have a long way to go before we can be satisfied that we have achieved an acceptable level of safety on our roads. The reductions in road casualties achieved to date reflect a wide range of work undertaken throughout the County Council. While the recent transfer of the Road Safety Education Team to the Fire & Rescue service will only strengthen the commitment to carry out a wide range of activities to train and educate road users. Through the continued analysis of where and why accidents occur and the close working with partners (such as Thames Valley Police) we believe that we will continue to have much success in driving down the number of accidents and casualties seen in the county. Ensuring that we review best practice and continue to improve and strengthen our integration with other agencies (both internal and external), we will strive to further improve road safety for the whole community, including not only those that live or work in it, but also those that merely travel through on our road network. However, as responsible individuals we all need to be aware that much of the future success will also reflect the contributions that we as road users can make to achieve this shared goal. Councillor Rodney Rose Cabinet Member for Transport Oxfordshire County Council 2 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

4 Road casualty statistics for Oxfordshire The tables below show the numbers of road deaths and injuries in Oxfordshire by year and by road user group. The term KSI stands for Killed or Seriously Injured and relates to the combined total of fatal and serious casualties. The use of KSI as a means of monitoring trends rather than looking at the separate fatal and serious numbers is because fatality figures are typically very small and subject to considerable random variation. By adding together the two figures, with seriously injured typically being larger, a figure is reached which is statistically significant, less subject to random variation, and therefore more reliable for use in analysis. Oxfordshire road casualties by year 1999 to : Year Fatal Serious KSI Total % yearly change Target Oxfordshire Casualties KSI Road Traffic Casualty Summary 3

5 Oxfordshire child (ages 0 to 15) road casualties by year 1999 to : Year Fatal Serious KSI Total % yearly change Target Oxfordshire Child (0 15) Casualties KSI 4 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

6 Oxfordshire road casualties by road user group All casualties Fatal Serious Total % total Pedestrian Pedal cyclist Two wheel motor vehicle Car driver Car passenger Bus occupant Goods vehicle occupant Other Total Oxfordshire child (ages 0 to 15) road casualties by road user group Child casualties Fatal Serious Total % total Pedestrian Pedal cyclist Two wheel motor vehicle Car passenger Bus occupant Goods vehicle occupant Other Total Road Traffic Casualty Summary 5

7 Casualty reduction targets The previous Government s Road Safety Strategy (published in 2000) provided an overall framework for improving safety on our roads, and included targets for casualty reduction to be achieved by. During these last 10 years progress has regularly been reviewed, both at the national and local level. In 2006 the County Council included enhanced targets within the Local Transport Plan (targets are measured from the average annual injuries recorded in the 5-year period 1994 to 1998). Oxfordshire casualty reduction targets : Indicator All KSI casualties Child KSI casualties All casualties Pedestrian casualties Pedal Cycle casualties PTW casualties Wet Skid accidents 1994 / 1998 Oxon baseline Oxon actual % Oxon change National target Oxon National progress Local target Oxon Local progress GB National change Not met -50 Not met -49% Met -60 Not met -64% Met -20 Met -32% Not met -44% Not met -30% Met -22% Met Progress to achieving the national targets has generally been good, with two of the three targets being met, although local performance is seen to be lagging behind the national figures for KSI, whilst matching that for slight casualties. Looking at the local enhanced targets, although progress has been made with three out of the seven targets being met and the target for Child KSI just falling short, there is still work to be done. It is nevertheless important to stress that interpreting performance in relation to meeting targets requires a certain degree of caution; the quite high levels of year to year variation in accident and casualty numbers (which in turn reflects a wide range of factors) inevitably means that assessments of performance whether positive or negative based on data for relatively short periods will inevitably be approximate, the national use of a 5-year baseline period for setting targets acknowledges this difficulty. The government has decided as part of a recent review, against publishing road safety targets, deciding rather to allow local authorities to prioritise work determined by the local context. As such Oxfordshire will continue to monitor casualty rates for all of the key groups whilst aiming to at least match the GB and Thames Valley average performance. 6 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

8 Responsibilities for the delivery of casualty reduction measures Many authorities and agencies have a part to play in helping secure reductions in the number and severity of road accidents and injuries. The County Council s main areas of responsibility include the maintenance and improvement of the County road network and the delivery of road-safety education, training and publicity to the local community. Additionally the County Council s Fire and Rescue Service provides vital emergency assistance in the recovery of road accident victims at the scene of accidents and is also now contributing to road-safety education work. The Council works in partnership with the police, who have a major role in the enforcement of traffic offences, the health service and other agencies in this work. National government has a major role in providing the legal basis for driver and vehicle standards (and the penalties for infringements) and also for developing standards for highway design including road signing, pedestrian crossings and signal installations. Increasingly, such work involves the EU given the need to harmonise standards. The government is also responsible, through the Highways Agency, for safety on motorways and trunk roads. In addition, vehicle manufacturers play a major role in developing safer vehicles which both reduce the risk of accident involvement and provide greater protection in the event of a collision. The following table illustrates the calculated benefits of certain defined measures in terms of the estimated percentage reduction in KSI and slight casualty numbers: % reduction of: Area of Work KSI a) Primarily the responsibility of Highway Authorities New road safety engineering programme 7.5% 7.0% Safety on rural single carriageways 3.5% 1.0% b) Shared responsibility of Highway Authority, National Government and Other Agencies Additional measures for pedestrian, cycle and child protection 8.0% 7.0% Additional measures for speed reduction 5.0% 5.0% Reducing casualties in drink drive accidents 1.0% 1.0% Reducing accident involvement of novice drivers 2.0% 2.5% Reducing accidents during high mileage work driving 2.0% 2.5% c) Others Vehicle safety improvements 13.0% 4.0% Cycle and motor-cycle helmet improvements 1.5% - Road Traffic Casualty Summary 7

9 Casualty reduction targets PEDESTRIAN CASUALTIES Age and gender of casualties Age Unk. Total Male Female Total Long term trends Child Adult KSI KSI Child Casualties KSI Adult Casualties KSI 8 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

10 Casualty reduction targets by the year Reduction Target 50% reduction in all fatal / serious casualties: 60% reduction in fatal / serious child casualties: 50% reduction in all pedestrian casualties: Child Casualties 1994/1998 Average Target Actual % Change % % % Adult Casualties Severity 6% Severity 72% Serious Fatal 32% Serious Fatal 28% 62% 100% Urban/Rural 13% Urban/Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural 87% Junction/Non-Junction Junction/Non-Junction 30% 46% Junction Non-Junction Junction Non-Junct 70% 54% 12% Night/Day Night/Day Night Day 34% Night Day 88% 66% 33% Minor Road/Major Road Minor Road/Major Road 49% Minor Major Minor Major 51% 67% Road Traffic Casualty Summary 9

11 The long-term trends in total pedestrian casualties for both adults and children have been generally downwards, with a stronger downward trend seen in the numbers of slight casualties. Although the local target for was not met, progress has been made with a close to 40% reduction in all casualties, which closely mirrors the 44% reduction seen nationally. However it is believed that the overall reduced levels of walking seen during this period may have contributed to this reduction to some degree. Historically the highest numbers of pedestrian casualties have been sustained in town centres and (predictably) other busy shopping areas, whilst residential areas by comparison tend to have low densities of pedestrian casualties. Areas close to schools also thankfully have similarly low accident numbers, with only a minority of child pedestrian injuries being sustained on a journey to or from school. Although the numbers of pedestrians injured on rural roads is a very small proportion of the total, the risk of fatal or serious injury on such roads is very much higher due to the greater vehicle speeds. For accidents involving early teens (12 to 15 year olds), behavioural factors such as failure to look and crossing where visibility is restricted particularly feature, whilst alcohol impairment is a significant factor in accidents involving adults. Elderly pedestrians are seen to be especially vulnerable not only because of reduced mobility, but also because of their higher susceptibility to more severe injuries and even those collisions deemed to be minor can have serious, and even fatal consequences. Current and past work undertaken to reduce the number and severity of pedestrian injuries: Footsteps is the county s child pedestrian training programme which aims to develop safe behaviour from a child s earliest exposure to traffic, and in approximately 4,500 children were trained. Resources for parents are also provided for every child, whilst a large number of Early Years providers and primary schools carry out practical training sessions for their pupils. When viable, the provision of pedestrian crossings (including pelican s and zebra s), refuges and footways specifically improve safety for pedestrians where there is a local concentration of accidents. Speed management measures have also proved highly effective in reducing the number and severity of pedestrian accidents, whilst they are also successful in treating more dispersed patterns of accidents. Currently OCC employs over 60 School Crossing Patrol Officers who generally work at locations close to primary schools; they can however, also work around the county where there is a demand and legitimate safety concerns. They specifically help to improve safety for pedestrians at crossing points at specific times and following an amendment to the law, patrols are now able to stop traffic to help any pedestrian to cross the road at any time; providing a safe crossing point for those who are most vulnerable, including; children, the elderly and those with a disability. 10 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

12 PEDAL CYCLIST CASUALTIES Age and gender of casualties Age Unk. Total Male Female Total Long term trends Child Adult KSI KSI Child Casualties KSI 250 Adult Casualties KSI Road Traffic Casualty Summary 11

13 Casualty reduction targets by the year Reduction Target 50% reduction in all fatal / serious casualties: 60% reduction in fatal / serious child casualties: 50% reduction in all pedestrian casualties: Child Casualties 1994/1998 Average Target Actual % Change % % % Adult Casualties Severity 6% Severity 72% Serious Fatal 32% Serious Fatal 28% 62% 100% Urban/Rural 13% Urban/Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural 87% Junction/Non-Junction Junction/Non-Junction 30% 46% Junction Non-Junction Junction Non-Junct 70% 54% 12% Night/Day Night/Day Night Day 34% Night Day 88% 66% 33% Minor Road/Major Road Minor Road/Major Road 49% Minor Major Minor Major 51% 67% 12 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

14 Overall long term numbers in total pedal cyclist injuries seem to show a downwards trend, which appears to be mainly due to the massive reduction of child cyclist injuries over this time. In fact since 1999 child casualties have dropped by a staggering 80%, whilst comparatively the numbers of adult cycle casualties has dropped by a more modest 17%. This very significant decrease in child cyclist casualty levels has occurred despite an increase in the number of child cyclists, as highlighted by the numbers attending and successfully completing the OCC training sessions. However it is suspected that many of the more minor injuries go un-reported to the police, as indicated by the A&E data, (see supplementary information, page 32) and that these casualties are dealt with solely by A&E departments. Similarly to pedestrian casualties, the majority of cyclist injury occurs in built up urban areas; with Oxford in particular having a traditionally high cycle use and as such, a comparatively high cyclist casualty rate compared to other areas. Current and past work undertaken to reduce the number and severity of pedal cyclist injuries: Cycle training is available free of charge to all children aged 9 years and over and is mostly organised through primary schools and trained volunteers. The training (National Standard Level 2) is largely carried out by adult volunteers and is closely monitored by council cycle examiners, ensuring that consistently high standards are adhered to and achieved. In conjunction with the council s own cycle training programme, a new form for delivering cycling proficiency, designed to give children skills and confidence to ride their bikes on roads is being offered. There are three distinct levels to Bikeability ; a child will typically start lessons once they have learnt to ride a bike, with year olds progressing through to Level 2, and then Level 3 at secondary school (11-18 year olds). In approximately 3,800 children were trained in a combination of these two formats, which may be reflected in the good performance in reducing child cyclist casualties; with showing the lowest number of child cycle casualties (18) since records began. During the training children are required to wear cycle helmets and it is hoped that this good practice will encourage them to continue using helmets into adult life. Education and awareness campaigns, including schemes involving local bus operators and lorry drivers are from time to time carried out. Mutual awareness is needed between these groups and is particularly important at the start of each academic year, when many new cyclists take to the streets of Oxford. Whilst the provision of cycle tracks, lanes and controlled crossing points all help to improve safety and amenity for cyclists, but special care needs to be taken in the design of such facilities to ensure that they prove attractive to cyclists and do not inadvertently introduce new hazards Road Traffic Casualty Summary 13

15 MOTORCYCLE & MOPED RIDER AND PASSENGER CASUALTIES Age and gender of casualties Age Unk. Total Male Female Total Long term trends KSI All All Casualties KSI Road Traffic Casualty Summary

16 Casualty reduction targets by the year Reduction Target 40% reduction in all fatal / serious casualties: 20% reduction in fatal / serious child casualties: 1994/1998 Average Target Actual % Change % % All Casualties 4% Severity 22% Night/Day 38% Serious Fatal Night Day 58% 78% 44% Urban/Rural Urban Rural Minor Road/Major Road 27% Minor Major 56% 73% 36% Junction/Non-Junction Junction Non-Junction 64% Road Traffic Casualty Summary 15

17 Throughout the early 1980 s and mid 1990 s a major and sustained fall in the number of powered two wheel casualties was seen, which was largely attributable to a corresponding fall in motor cycle use. However, since then numbers stabilised initially and have slightly increased in the early 2000 s. One worrying aspect of recent trends appears to be the divergence of slight and KSI casualty numbers, with a possibility, that if recent trends continue KSI numbers could rise above slights (not seen in any other road user group). Users of all sizes of powered two wheel vehicles are disproportionately vulnerable to accidents and have a higher than average severity of injury, while users of the larger more powerful machines have an especially higher risk of more severe injuries. Achieving a reduction in motor-cycle-user accidents has proved challenging, with accidents tending to be extremely dispersed, and as such they are not readily addressed by site specific engineering measures. Motorcyclists will of course benefit from improvements to junctions and bends that target all road users, while enhanced rider training and testing have undoubtedly helped reduce casualties. It has however proved particularly difficult to develop effective road safety education, training and publicity measures to address riders of the larger machines. This in part is possibly because there is an appreciable recreational use of such vehicles where the perceptions of, and attitudes to risk appear to enhance rather than detract from the riding experience. Current and past work to reduce the number and severity of motorcyclist injuries: It is extremely difficult to specifically target motorcyclist casualties through engineering measures, however as motorcyclists tend to be more vulnerable to surface defects such as potholes and other road irregularities, improving maintenance standards will help improve safety. During, in response to the recent upward trend seen in KSI casualties, the council embarked on a number of education, training and publicity measures designed to target motorcyclists. The council part-funded the Be a Better Biker programme which offered advanced motorcycle training, approximately 40 riders attended and provided positive feedback. Whilst the Operation Pit Stop event (in partnership with TVP) encouraged students from three colleges to attend, whereby a police motor technician checked over their bikes offering free advice on wear, tear and maintenance. Police motorcycle officers were then on hand to talk about the law and what equipment riders should wear, whilst road safety officers talked about further training opportunities. Further opportunities to engage motorcyclists took place at local partnership (TVP and F&R) events throughout the year, including; days at the H-Café (local biker meeting point) and the popular Cassington Bike Night, at which the riders thoughts and ideas on problems and possible solutions affecting them were collected. 16 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

18 CAR DRIVER CASUALTIES Age and gender of casualties Age Unk. Total Male Female Total Long term trends All KSI All Casualties KSI Road Traffic Casualty Summary 17

19 Casualty reduction targets by the year Reduction Target 40% reduction in fatal and serious casualties: 1994/1998 Average Target Actual % Change % 10% decrease in slight casualty rate: % All Casualties 10% 1% Severity Night/Day Serious Fatal 24% Night Day 89% 76% Urban/Rural 32% Urban Rural 25% Minor Road/Major Road Minor Major 68% 75% Junction/Non-Junction 48% Junction Non-Junction 52% 18 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

20 Historically (and currently) car drivers have formed the single largest category of road-user casualties, with the long term trend through to the late 1990 s generally being upward (maybe linked to the increase in car ownership), but this has since stabilised to some extent. More recent trends since then have been a little more difficult to interpret, with casualty numbers experiencing periods of peaks (high casualty numbers) and troughs (low casualty numbers), since 2006 however, the trend appears to have settled on a downward direction. The stabilisation of numbers appears to be in part due to a decrease in recent years of the number of car driver casualties from what was the highest risk age group (17 to 24 year old). One thought is that this reflects the higher costs of insurance for younger drivers. Interestingly, at the other end of the age spectrum, there has been very little change in the number of older car drivers involved in accidents, even though there are appears to be a greater number of older senior-citizen drivers. The majority of severe injuries are sustained on the higher speed rural and trunk roads, where the common accident types include; loss of control on bends, failure to give way at junctions, inappropriate overtaking and shunt-type accidents. Whilst in behavioural terms factors such as failure to look properly and poor judgement regarding the path and speed of other vehicles are common factors. Even factors such as distraction, which may be perceived as a minor error, can have catastrophic consequences in these high speed incidents. During the last few decades major improvements in car design which have undoubtedly helped improve safety have been seen; not only have better braking systems reduced the risk of collision in the first place, but modern cars also provide appreciably better protection to not only their occupants in the event of an accident but also to pedestrians. Whilst this greater level of protection may encourage some drivers to be less cautious at the expense of theirs and others safety, the overall net benefits appear to be positive. Despite this, one worrying factor is that approximately a third of all fatal injuries are sustained by car drivers not wearing seat belts, with the police estimating that in over half of these cases, the driver could have stood a better chance of survival if a belt were worn. Current and past work undertaken to reduce the number and severity of car driver injuries: A large number of road-safety engineering measures have been introduced at sites where similar accidents have taken place and on routes with above-average accident rates. This has proved to be a very effective method for reducing not only the number of accidents but also the severity. Similarly, speed management measures, which have included; traffic calming, reduced speed limits and safety camera enforcement (in partnership with the police) have been extremely effective in reducing casualty numbers. They also have the added benefit of improving safety for the more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Although 85% of accidents involve cars, it is clear that specific measures to reduce these also have an added benefit for all road users. A range of education, training and publicity measures which tackle high risk actions and behaviour, particularly in the young, are carried out throughout the year. In order to address the high accident rates suffered by young drivers, programmes such as; Theatre in Education productions, Fire & Rescue Services 'Choices and Consequences' for pre-drivers (Yrs10 & 11) and 'Safe Drive Stay Alive', which engages students who have just reached driving age (Yrs12 & 13). Finally, targeted enforcement and education activities held in partnership with the police and the Fire & Rescue Service are also carried out, aiming to reduce high risk behaviours such as; speeding, mobile phone use, non-seat-belt wearing offences and driver fatigue. Road Traffic Casualty Summary 19

21 CAR PASSENGER CASUALTIES Age and gender of casualties Age Unk. Total Male Female Total Long term trends Child Adult KSI KSI Child Casualties KSI Adult Casualties KSI 20 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

22 Casualty reduction targets by the year Reduction Target 50% reduction in all fatal / serious casualties: 60% reduction in fatal / serious child casualties: 10% reduction in slight car occupant casualty rate: Child Casualties 1994/1998 Average Target Actual % Change % % % Adult Casualties 5% 1% Severity 11% 1% Severity Serious Fatal Serious Fatal 94% 88% Urban/Rural Urban/Rural 30% Urban Rural 34% Urban Rural 70% 66% Junction/Non-Junction 47% Junction/Non-Junction 46% Junction Non-Junction Junction Non-Junction 54% 53% 19% Night/Day Night/Day Night Day 28% Night Day 81% 72% 19% Minor Road/Major Road Minor Major Minor Road/Major Road 26% Minor Major 81% 74% Road Traffic Casualty Summary 21

23 Predictably, car passengers form the second largest casualty group after that of car drivers, with the recent trends in casualty numbers showing a similar pattern that have generally been downwards after a long period of relative stability. The circumstances of accidents where car passengers are injured are by nature very similar to those for car drivers, with a majority of injuries sustained on non-built up rural roads and in accidents such as loss of control on bends and failure to give way at junctions. As with car drivers, car passengers have benefited appreciably from improvements to vehicle design, which have both reduced the risk of accident involvement and increased the protection given to car occupants. Sadly non seat belt wearing is still too often negating the latter, with around 30% of front seat passengers who died not wearing seat belts. Worryingly the equivalent figure for rear seat car passenger fatalities is a shocking 65%, with the police judging that the great majority would have probably survived had they been wearing a seat belt. In the past concern has rightly been expressed about the dangers that are posed when young drivers (those under the age of 25) are accompanied by their friends. This appears to significantly increase accident risks; possibly due to a combination of the increased potential for distraction in the vehicle and also peer-pressure to drive at speed or more aggressively. Current and past work to reduce the number and severity of car passenger injuries: Many of the activities which are aimed at reducing car-driver casualties will equally benefit car passengers by reducing the overall risk of accidents. The participation of young people in a wide range of education measures aimed at drivers will also help to develop and re-enforce safer behaviour, whilst the promotion of positive-peer-group pressure can help tackle the high risk for groups of young people travelling together. Specific activities and interventions that in the past have addressed car passenger casualties include Sitting Tight which provides advice on the fitting and use of child car-restraints, plus Perfect, a play aimed at Year 9 pupils (14 year olds) that looks at the consequences of non-seatbelt use. 22 Road Traffic Casualty Summary

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