Transport Scotland Newsroom

29 October 2019, 09:30

Finalised figures for 2018 road casualties

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland

Finalised statistics for 2018 confirm that the number of people killed or seriously injured in reported road accidents in Scotland in 2018 has shown a slight increase from 2017, rising from 1,739 to 1,743.

The Reported Road Casualties publication released today by Transport Scotland statisticians provides finalised figures for the number of people injured or killed as a result of road accidents. The report also provides more detailed breakdowns than were contained in the provisional statistics released in June.

The finalised statistics for 2018 confirm that 161 people were killed in reported road accidents in Scotland in 2018, 16 more than in 2017. The number of people seriously injured decreased by one percent from 1,594 to 1,582. A significant drop in slight casualties means that the total number of casualties fell by eleven percent between 2017 and 2018 from 9,433 to 8,411, the lowest number since records began.

Other findings contained in the report include:

  • Car driver accident rates per head of population varied markedly by age and sex. In 2018, the overall rate was 1.7 accidents per thousand population aged 17+. The highest rate was for males in the 17-25 age group, with a rate of 3.0 per thousand population in 2018. This rate is one and a half times those of females of the same age (2.0 per thousand in 2018).
  • In 2018, Scotland’s overall road death rate of 30 per million population was the fifth lowest of 42 countries surveyed in provisional international comparisons.

Compared with England and Wales, Scotland’s 2018 casualty rates were 8% higher (killed), 28% lower (serious) and 40% lower (all severities).

  • In 2018, there were 753 child casualties in reported road accidents, a decrease of 16 percent since 2017. This included three fatalities, 1 more than 2017, and 142 children who were seriously injured, down from 153 in 2017.
  • The latest available estimates produced by the U.K. Government Department for Transport suggest that the numbers of drink-drive accidents fell by 60% between 2007 and 2017: from a rounded estimate of 670 accidents to 270.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The full statistical publication is available on the Transport Scotland website

Contact Information

Matthew Millar
Transport Scotland
0141 272 7199

Notes to editors

These figures update the provisional figures published in Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2018 in June 2019. The figures included in this publication may differ from published Police Scotland management information due to the additional quality assurance steps undertaken in partnership with Police Scotland in the production of this report.

The statistics in the publication are used by Transport Scotland, Police Scotland, Local Authorities and road safety professionals across Scotland to target interventions to make Scotland’s roads safer.

The Scottish Road Safety Framework was launched in June 2009, outlining Scotland specific targets. Progress towards the 2020 casualty reduction targets is shown in section 8 of the publication. Each reduction target is assessed against the 2004/08 average. These targets are:
- a 40 percent reduction in the number of people killed in road traffic accidents;
- a 55 percent reduction in the number of people seriously injured;
- a 50 percent reduction in the number of children killed; Measured using an average of three years of data due to the small numbers and year on year fluctuations;
- a 65 percent reduction in the number of children seriously injured;    
- a 10 percent reduction in the slight casualty rate, expressed as the number of people slightly injured per 100 million vehicle kilometres.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: