The number of people tragically killed on the roads rose sharply at the start of 2014, according to estimated Government figures.
The first three-month period of the year saw 380 people lose their lives – a 13% rise on the same period of 2013.
There were 5,500 incidents instances of people being killed or seriously injured (KSI) in the first quarter of the year – up 17%
Slight casualties too, also rose 15% to 40,460. Total casualties stood at 45,960, an overall rise of 16%.
Road accident increase
According to motoring experts, the unwelcome increase can be partially explained by the fact that many pedestrians and cars were kept off the roads as a result of the severe weather which blighted the start of 2013.
March 2013, for example, was the coldest March recorded in 50 years – conditions which were reflected in comparatively low death figures from road traffic accidents around this time (336 for January-March 2013), with people being advised to stay off the road.
The first three months of 2012 is seen as a more meaningful comparison, in which 414 people lost their lives on the roads – higher than is estimated for January-March 2014.
March 2011 meanwhile saw as many as 445 people killed.
March 2014 saw the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in accidents up 16%, to 1,460.
Cyclists and children
The amount of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured went up to 690, or by 27% – while slight personal injuries to those on two wheels shot up by 43%, to 3,380. Motorcyclist KSI levels went up 20%, to 2,160.
KSI figures for children under 16 went up 17%, to 500, while child pedestrian figures for the same were up 9% to 350.