1,711 people died on British roads in 2022 – that’s 1,711 families and communities left devastated by the loss of a loved one, figures released by Government show. This is a 10% increase on the number of people killed in 2021 (1,558) and suggests that more needs to be done to make roads across the country safer for everyone.

In 2021, 253 people were killed by vehicles being driven or ridden above the speed limit, and because as a society we have not acted and made sure that we all drive within the speed limits, another 303 families and communities have had to go through the same heart-breaking experience in 2022.

Brake, the road safety charity, is calling for us all to act now and make sure that next year no other family or community has to go through this same experience.

Ross Moorlock, interim CEO at Brake, which runs the National Road Victim Service, caring for bereaved and seriously injured road victim families, said:

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“The carnage on roads takes lives, devastates families, and causes life-changing injuries. It’s completely unacceptable that, each day, people’s lives are cut short or changed forever as a result of preventable road crashes. It has to stop.

“Deaths on our roads have now reached close to pre-pandemic levels again and it is alarming that the rate of road deaths and serious injuries are increasing.

“This mirrors the increase in demand for specialist support for road victims from Brake’s National Road Victim Service, which saw a 30% increase in referrals for support in 2022 on the previous year. We have seen that trend continue into 2023, with referrals already 18% higher than last year with three months of the year remaining.

“We need a concerted focus on reducing road deaths and catastrophic injuries. This requires ambitious targets to end the carnage on our roads and a focus on Safe Systems, including appropriate speed limits on all roads, investment in vehicle safety and infrastructure, and the funding required on a national level to help provide more devastated families with the support they need.”

 It’s completely unacceptable that, each day, people’s lives are cut short or changed forever as a result of preventable road crashes. It has to stop. Ross Moorlock, interim CEO, Brake

The figures also showed an increase in people dying while walking near the road (up 7%), riding a motorbike (up 13%) and being in a car (up 16%) from 2021 figures. In a more promising trend, the number of people dying while riding a bike dropped 18%, however that still means 91 people died this way.

In November 2023, Brake is hosting #RoadSafetyWeek, the largest UK road safety campaign. This year the theme is ‘Let’s talk about speed’ which calls for a national conversation around the social acceptability of speeding. With nearly 30,000 people being killed or seriously injured on our roads every year, why do we still think it is ok to speed?