Record drop in road traffic accidents

Accident rates have been falling steadily for more than a decade.

The number of road traffic accidents in Great Britain dropped by a quarter in 2020 compared to 2019, making last year the safest year on record, according to new data. 

Department for Transport figures, which are based on police records, show the fall in road accidents tied in with traffic volumes dropping by 21% as lockdown measures took hold.

However, longer-term trends point to safer roads, with the number of fatalities being broadly flat between 2010 and 2019 despite the fact road traffic has gradually increased by 17% during this period.

The number of cyclists being involved in an accident fell by 34% in 2020 despite a 46% jump in bike use. 

Greg Wilson, founder of, comments: “While a drop in accidents is only to be expected with less traffic on the roads, this is still a very positive report from a year when there often hasn’t been a lot to celebrate.

“Cyclists in particular will welcome the news that accidents involving bike riders are falling at a time when many more people are using pedal power for commuting as well as leisure.

“While lower traffic volumes during the country’s series of successive lockdowns will obviously be a significant factor in these findings, it’s worth bearing in mind that the trend towards fewer accidents and safer roads predates the pandemic – in fact, accident rates have been falling steadily for more than a decade.”

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