Think! Education

Activity 3: Data day


40–60 minutes or longer depending on the approach


Look at some road safety statistics with your class, which will make quite an impact. The following statistics may be suitable to work with, depending on the age of pupils:

a) Number of road deaths per year 2010–2011

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Deaths 3,450 3,431 3,508 3,221 3,201 3,172 2,946 2,538 2,222 1,857

b) Number of road casualties (Killed or seriously injured) per year 2001–2010

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Casualties 40,560 39,407 37,215 34,351 32,155 31,845 30,720 28,572 26,906 24,517

c) Number of child (aged 0–11) road casualties (killed or seriously injured) per year 2001–2010

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Casualties 2,807 2,524 2,250 1,942 1,812 1,658 1,601 1,509 1,410 1,423

d) Casualties (killed or seriously injured) in 2010

Type Pedestrians Car users Motorbike users Cyclists
Casualties 5,605 9,756 5,183 2,771

e) Child (aged 0–11) casualties (killed or seriously injured) in 2010

Type Pedestrians Car passengers Cyclists
Casualties 991 241 168

f) Child (aged 0–11) casualties (killed or seriously injured, all modes of transport in 2010: comparing girls and boys

Gender Girls Boys
Casualties 504 919

g) Child (aged 0–11) casualties (killed or seriously injured – pedestrians, cyclists, car passengers) in 2010: comparing girls and boys

  Pedestrians Car passengers Cyclists
Girls 344 106 42
Boys 647 134 126

h) Child casualties (killed or seriously injured) in 2009 by age

Age group 0–3 4–7 8–11 12–15
Casualties 117 464 715 1,079

While the statistics are a stark reminder of the potential consequences of unsafe behaviour it must be stressed that many accidents are not the victim’s fault and the discussion handled sensitively. It’s also important that we do not deter children from walking or playing outside and therefore counteract good health messages.

Questions to address might include:

  • Why has the number of casualties fallen over time? (Greater safety measures such as speed cameras; new laws such as banning mobile phone use; police enforcement; better safety technology in cars; better road engineering; more road safety education, including advertising)
  • There are more pedestrians on the road than cars, but pedestrians travel less distance and spend less time on the road.
  • Why are there more casualties among boys than girls? (Pupils may find this statistic particularly interesting. Reassure them that they can discuss possible reasons for this without being considered sexist. There is no definitive answer, but boys may be more likely to take risks.)
  • Why are more older children killed or injured than younger children? (They make more and longer journeys with less adult supervision; they probably put themselves into more risky situations, like not finding the safest place to cross, or not looking properly; they may be distracted more often than younger children by their friends, mobile phones and MP3 players)

After looking at the statistics, you could use them to complete some data-handling activities. Children can construct graphs and charts based on them as well as carry out calculations to find averages and ranges, for example. A Data day activity sheet is available: Data day activity sheet (PDF 227kb) - new window

Older and more able children can find the range and average for each set of data, using a calculator where large numbers are involved. The data can also be entered into a computer using data handling software to produce graphs and pie charts.

Another interesting activity is to carry out a traffic survey outside the school and compare numbers of different types of vehicles passing by how traffic varies over time. This can help children to understand when roads are busiest. The data can be discussed, graphed, displayed and averages / ranges calculated.

Having spent some time thinking about these statistics, the children may want to know what they can do to be as safe as possible on the road. You may wish to complete this activity before moving on to activity 1 or 3.