The number of fatalities on the UK’s roads rose by 10% in 2022, according to the latest figures.

Accident data from the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal that there were 1,711 deaths last year, an increase of 10% over the 2021 figure of 1,558. 29,742 people were killed or seriously injured, and in total there were 135,480 casualties of all severities. There was also a rise in the number of deaths from accidents involving e-scooters, from 10 to 12.

In terms of the casualty rates per miles travelled, motorcyclists were still most at risk from being injured or killed on the road than any other type of vehicle user.

Most fatalities happened on rural roads, and motorways only accounted for 6% of deaths from road traffic accidents despite making up 21% of all road traffic. Around a fifth of occupants in vehicles where there were fatalities had not been wearing a seatbelt. The number of people who died with ‘impairment drugs’ in their system is also significantly on the increase, rising 60% between 2014 and 2021.

“Every death on our roads is a tragedy and it is worrying that after the pandemic, road deaths are rising,” said Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust.  “It is a preventable tragedy that a fifth of people who die in cars on our roads are not wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelts are arguably the greatest ever road safety invention but they are entirely useless if they are not worn.”

“We need an increase in police drug drive testing at the roadside so that those tempted to do so will think again. It’s on all of us to eliminate deaths and casualties on our roads. As well as having more cops in cars to catch people in the act, road users need to take responsibility when heading out on the roads,” said Mr King.