New Government figures show a recent surge in road traffic accident deaths linked to drink-driving.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has reported that 290 people died in Britain last year as a direct result of drink-driving, up by a significant 25% on the previous year’s figure of 230.
Drink-driving deaths made up 17% of all road fatalities and the deaths were spread across 250 drink-related incidents, compared with 220 in 2011.
Drink-driving ‘worse in past’
In 2011 the number of deaths was the lowest since records started in 1979. During the 1970s and 80s figures reached more than 1,400 deaths a year.
The total number of drink-drive accidents (fatal and non fatal) in 2012 was 6,680 – this was down slightly on the 2011 figure of 6,690.
The number of serious injuries was 1,210, which was also down from the total of 1,270 in 2011, but there were more slight injuries – 8,500 compared to 8,420 the year before.
Most of the fatalities (68%) were of the over-the-limit drivers and riders themselves; the other 32% being fellow road users or passengers who were not necessarily over the legal alcohol limit.
Fall in injuries
Between January and March this year, 340 people were killed in all road traffic accidents in Britain, which according to the DfT is down 18% on last year.
Serious road traffic injuries were down 19%, while slight injuries – for which some drivers may be eligible to make personal injury claims – were down by 14%.
There was a sharp fall in the number of cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians injured at the start of the year. The cold weather making motorists slow down or avoid journeys has been suggested as a possible reason.