Fatalities on Somerset’s roads decreased from 25 to 21 over the 2022 calendar year.
Whilst the drop is welcome, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital Cllr Mike Rigby has stressed the need for all road users to think safety first.
The Council’s road safety team receives police reports following injury collisions and carries out research to identify trends from them. They then look to improve safety across Somerset’s network by analysing the data through the detailed annual Road Casualty Review.
Evidence shows that most collisions involve one or more of the “fatal five” behaviours of Intoxicated driving (drink or drugs), Careless/Inconsiderate driving, Excessive speed, Mobile Phone use and Failing to wear a seatbelt. In 2022, 15 (75%) of the fatal collisions had a link to one of these behaviours recorded by the Police.
Of rising concern across the whole Avon and Somerset Police Area is a notable increase in the number of fatal collisions recording at least one vehicle crossing a road into the path of another one. In 2022, 10 (50%) of the collisions recorded involved this type of manoeuvre.
In 2022, two deaths occurred on our Trunk Roads, 10 on A roads, three on B roads and five on our C class and Unclassified roads. Most of the collisions occurred on rural sections of the highway network.
Of the collisions, analysis shows that 10 (50%) incidents, occurred in Sedgemoor District, five in Mendip, four in South Somerset and one in Somerset West & Taunton.
Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Travel and Digital, said: “Every death on our roads is one too many and a tragedy. These statistics are concerning, but they emphasize the importance of prioritising safe behaviours while travelling.
“We are dedicated to working with our partners and the road users of Somerset to minimize the number of casualties on the network.
“We are working hard to keep these figures coming down, but we need everyone using the roads to continue to make travelling safely and sharing the roads a priority.”
Somerset Road Safety provides advice to thousands every year through educational events; they run Bikeability courses for school children and train School Crossing Patrols. Please visit www.somersetroadsafety.org for more information and follow them on social media – Somerset Road Safety on Facebook, @SC_RoadSafety on Twitter and @somersetroadsafety on Instagram.
The Government’s THINK! road safety campaign has a designated programme to improve safety on country roads, which is backed by Somerset Council.
Further details are available at www.think.direct.gov.uk/country-roads.html.
Fatal crash statistics since 2018:
- 2018: 23 collisions, 26 casualties
- 2019: 22 collisions, 22 casualties
- 2020: 12 collisions, 12 casualties*
- 2021: 24 collisions, 25 casualties
- 2022: 20 collisions, 21 casualties
*Note: Multiple Covid 19 related traffic and travel restrictions were in place during this year.