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UK drivers travelling fewer miles before a collision

These data show an overall trend in fewer miles before a collision globally, suggesting the need for a renewed focus on safety.

Cars driving along a road. — Image by © Tim Sandle
Cars driving along a road. — Image by © Tim Sandle

Road vehicle accidents are a concern in all countries, irrespective of the types of vehicles or state of the roads. However, some countries seem to be more prone to accidents occurring than others.

A new trend in accident statistics finds that the total distance per collision driven by truck, van and taxi operators in the UK decreased by almost one-fifth (19.12 percent) in 2023, from 920,000 miles to 740,000 miles.

This means for a large British company running a fleet of 1,000 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) each driving 75,000 miles per year, the 2023 data could represent an additional 20 collisions annually.

This safety-related finding appears in the ‘2024 State of Commercial Transportation’ report from Geotab, which analysed telematics data from over one million commercial vehicles globally.

These data show an overall trend in fewer miles before a collision globally, suggesting the need for a renewed focus on safety.

Other data, of reported road collisions in the UK shows 1,711 fatalities, a decline of 2 percent.

In addition, 29,742 are killed or seriously injured casualties and 135,480 casualties of all severities. Drivers or motorcycle riders not looking properly is the leading cause of car accidents.

Across these types of accidents when gender is considered the vast majority relate to males. Here 78 percent of fatalities and 62 percent of casualties of all severities were male. Although there are more make drivers on the road, the data suggests that male drivers are more accident prone.

The UK is not the only country to see a reduction in miles before a collision, with Germany posting a near one-third (27.3 percent) decrease.

Only a few countries bucked this trend, with Spain (+5.66 percent), Italy (+5.25 percent) and Brazil (+4 percent) seeing the most significant rise in miles driven before a collision, suggesting fleet operators in these countries had taken measures to improve vehicle safety.

Across 32 European countries, the UK has the fourth lowest road death rate per million of the population at 26 deaths per million population. Norway has the lowest death rate per million of the population at 21 deaths per million population – almost 20% lower than the figure for the UK.

For non-drivers, another figure is relatively concerning. This is where Britain’s child pedestrian safety record is worse than the average for Europe, in contrast to the better than average all-ages figure.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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