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Road casualty statistics offer insight on Covid-19 impact

Following a year impacted by Covid-19 restrictions, provisional figures for 2020 confirm an expected fall in the number of road deaths. The DfT figures, published on 24 June, show there were 1,472 road deaths in 2020, a year-on-year decrease of 16%.

There were slightly larger reductions in the number of people killed or seriously injured (down 22% to 23,486) and casualties of all severities (down 25% to 115,333). The DfT says during lockdown months, there may have been low levels of reporting for slight casualties which may be linked to the larger reduction in these casualties.

The reduction in road traffic followed a similar trend in 2020 and decreased by 21%. Looking specifically at the impact of Covid-19, road casualties saw the greatest monthly decrease in April 2020 – down 68% compared to the three-year average for 2017 to 2019. This aligns with the first full month of national lockdown and the reduction in motor traffic (63%).

A smaller reduction was reported in the second national lockdown in November.

Casualties of all severities decreased by 35% compared to the three-year average for 2017 to 2019.

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