Monday, 10 January 2011

Truck-driving is fairly safe for truck drivers, not so much for everybody else

In yesterday's post I included the table below showing the fatality risks posed by road users of each type towards themselves and others.

The data is quite old now so I thought I'd try and update it. Using table 23c from the second set of tables in the 2009 DfT road casualties report I came up with the table below, which uses the raw number of fatalities rather than trying to calculate rates per billion km traveled.

To repeat, what the last column shows is the proportion of fatalities involving each transport mode that resulted in other users being killed. The new figures are quite similar to the old ones, with a tiny proportion of cycling-related fatalities involving other users, compared about half of car-related fatalities and the vast majority of HGV-related ones. The chart below illustrates the disparity (although it hides the fact that car-related fatalities is by far the biggest category).

There are two lessons to take away regarding cycling, I think. One is that cyclists will naturally be extremely sensitive to any perceived changes in their safety, and the second is that we should be encouraging the modes that don't pose much risk to others. Sounds obvious, but apparently it needs repeating.


  1. Hi jim
    This information is very interesting. I like the method you have used to show the results.

    Do you know if any new data has been released?

  2. DfT have updated their table here but it would take some interpretation to turn it into the table above.


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