Why teach road safety?

Road incidents are a major cause of injury and death for young people in Great Britain. 2014 road casualty statistics for 12-16 year olds show there were:

  • 8,695 road casualties
  • 38 people killed
  • 3,048 pedestrian casualties (of which 17 people were killed and 609 seriously injured)
  • 1,596 cycling casualties (of which 5 people were killed and 301 seriously injured)
  • 2,895 car user casualties (of which 15 people were killed and 180 seriously injured)

Making young people aware of the risks and providing them with strategies to take positive actions to remain safer are important parts of their development.

The graph shows how young people are particularly vulnerable to injury from road incidents.

Young people killed and seriously injured (2015)

road casualties 2015

There must be an overall balance when teaching road safety. We must not suggest to young people that they are always at great risk near traffic and we certainly do not want to convey the message to anyone that the only way to stay safe is to remain indoors or in cars. Walking and cycling must continue to be promoted as healthy, enjoyable activities. The challenge is to give young people the skills, understanding and confidence to deal with traffic safely as they become independent road users.