Road collisions causing deaths and serious injuries that involve vans, trucks and buses are sliding back towards pre-pandemic levels, according to latest UK government data released for 2021 and analysed by Brake, the road safety charity.
The charity’s analysis also highlights that one in four deaths of people on foot on roads (91 out of 361)  are due to being hit by vans, trucks and buses.
Brake is calling on the fleet industry to prioritise with urgency road risk management as a Board-level business priority to end the carnage.
The Brake analysis shows:
Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) were involved in 2,835 fatal or serious collisions (FSCs) in 2021. This is 12% more than a decade ago in 2012, and an increase of 24% on 2020 . There were eight FSCs a day involving LGVS in 2021.
- In 2021, the rate of involvement of LGVs in FSCs was 52 per billion vehicle miles, the highest rate in six years .
- LGVs were involved in crashes that caused 35 deaths of people on foot, the highest since 2012 , and 399 serious injuries of people on foot .
HGVs were involved in 1,063 FSCs in 2021. This is 36% fewer than in 2012, but an increase of 7% on 2020. There were three FSCs a day involving HGVs in 2021 .
- In 2021, the rate of involvement of HGVs was 61 per billion vehicle miles, the same as in 2020, ending an annual downwards decade-long trend .
- HGVs were involved in crashes that caused 42 deaths of people on foot, and 97 serious injuries of people on foot .
Buses or coaches were involved in 585 FSCs in 2021. This is half the number recorded in 2012, but an increase of 23% on 2020 . There were about two FSCs a day involving buses or coaches in 2021.
- In 2021, the rate of involvement of buses or coaches in FSCs was 324 per billion vehicle miles, an 11% increase on 2020 .
- Buses and coaches were involved in crashes that caused 14 deaths of people on foot, and 163 serious injuries of people on foot .
Compared with other European nations, road deaths per million of the population in the UK in 2021 stood at 24, higher than Denmark at 22, Sweden at 19, and Norway at 15 .
Mary Williams OBE, chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said:
“Deaths and catastrophic injuries on roads cause horrific shock and devastation to families, friends, employees and communities and must end. Yet the statistics present a saddening slide back towards pre-pandemic levels and, for vans, a long-term trend of increasing rates of involvement in collisions involving deaths and serious injuries.
“The statistics show why it is so important for corporations to take responsibility for managing their road risk through policies and procedures. Improved road risk management by employers, improved fleet safety rules and increased policing of fleet safety can help to put an end to the terrible carnage.”
Employers can sign up for free to Brake’s Global Fleet Champions campaign, which is calling on corporations and governments across the world to take responsibility for at-work crashes involving fleet vehicles. Employers can also sign up for free to take part in Road Safety Week this November, which Brake coordinates.
Brake works to end deaths and injuries on our roads through campaigns and delivers the National Road Victim Service, caring for bereaved and catastrophically injured road victims. To support the charity and become a Brake corporate partner, email [email protected].
Source: DfT (2022) Reported road casualties Great Britain, annual report: 2021 and supporting tables: