Scottish Government
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Road Accidents Scotland 2007

Updated road accident statistics have been released today by Scotland's Chief Statistician.

The web-tables update figures published in June and provide more detailed analysis, including comparisons with other countries, drink-drive estimates and analysis of factors which may have contributed to road accidents.

Main Findings

Road casualties

  • 281 deaths on Scotland's roads in 2007 - 11 per cent less than in 2006, the lowest figure since records began
  • 25 per cent reduction in road fatalities since 1997 - from 377 to 281 in 2007
  • 2,375 seriously injured in 2007 - 11 per cent fewer than in 2006, and the lowest number since records began in 1950
  • 40 per cent reduction in killed and seriously injured casualties since 1997 - from 4,424 to 2,656 in 2007
  • a total of 16,163 reported casualties in 2007 - 6 per cent fewer than in 2006 and a 29 per cent reduction on 1997 (22,629)

Road accidents

  • 12,441 injury accidents in 2007 - 5 per cent fewer than in 2006 and the lowest number since accident records began in 1966
  • 255 fatal accidents - 13 per cent less than in 2006 (note that a fatal accident may involve more than one fatality)
  • Since 1997, road accidents have fallen by 25 per cent whilst road traffic volume increased by 16 per cent

Progress towards the road casualty reduction targets for 2010

Compared with the baseline averages for 1994-98, in 2007:

  • 45 per cent fewer people were killed or seriously injured, a larger reduction than the 2010 target of 40 per cent
  • 67 per cent fewer children were killed or seriously injured, a larger reduction than the 2010 target of 50 per cent
  • the slight casualty rate (per 100 million vehicle kilometres) was 35 per cent lower, a larger reduction than the 2010 target of 10 per cent


  • 980 casualties (including 30 fatalities) estimated to be due to drink-drive accidents in 2006 (the latest year available), 16 per cent fewer than in 1996
  • in 2007, 3.8 per cent of drivers involved in injury accidents who were asked for a breath test registered a positive reading or refused to take the test

Country comparisons

  • in 2007, Scotland's casualty rates (per population) were 11 per cent higher (killed), 1 per cent lower (killed and serious) and 27 per cent lower (all severities) than England and Wales: all of which represent an improvement on 1994-98 averages
  • Scotland's overall road death rate of 61 per million population was the tenth lowest of the 39 countries for which figures are available (2006 being the latest available data)

Contributory Factors

The Contributory Factors most often reported for fatal accidents were:

  • loss of control - 40 per cent of all fatal accidents for which Contributory Factors were recorded
  • travelling too fast for the conditions - 18 per cent
  • driver/rider failed to look properly - 18 per cent
  • driver/rider careless / reckless / in a hurry - 15 per cent
  • poor turn or manoeuvre - 12 per cent
  • exceeding speed limit - 11 per cent

Accident costs

  • The estimated total cost of all road accidents (including damage only accidents) at 2007 prices fell by 9 per cent, from £1,631 million in 2006 to £1,487 million

The overall trends contained within the summary tables are based on the most up to date data as at November 19, 2008, whereas more detailed tables are based on data available as at October 6, 2008. A late return was received from Grampian police force, due to an ongoing quality review of their data, which was incorporated into the tables where possible. This update has minimal effect on the more detailed tables and these will be updated in due course.

Figures cover injury accidents reported to the police only. Comparisons with hospital data and other accident sources are presented.

Contributory Factors reflect the reporting officer's opinion, at the time of reporting the accident, of the key actions, failures and occurrences that led directly to the actual impact. They are based on information available at the time, and may not be the result of subsequent, more extensive investigation. As more than one contributory factor can be associated with an accident the Contributory Factors percentages sum to more than 100 per cent.

Progress towards GB casualty reduction targets is presented. These targets were set in 2000 by the UK Government, the then Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales as part of the road safety strategy.

The targets, are based on the annual average casualty levels over the period 1994 to 1998, and are for a:

  • 40 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents
  • 50 per cent reduction in the number of children killed or seriously injured
  • 10 per cent reduction in the slight casualty rate, expressed as the number of people slightly injured per 100 million vehicle kilometres

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