The Department for Transport has today released road fatality statistics for 2011. 1,901 people were killed in road crashes in 2011, an increase of three per cent on 2010 figures.
The numbers for fatalities for bus and coach occupants fell by 22 percent, 10 per cent for motorcyclists and four percent for cyclists.
Deaths of pedestrians and car occupants rose by 12 and 6 percent respectively.
Failing to look properly was the most significant contributory factor, said the DfT, reported in 42 percent of all crashes.
AA president Edmund King said there was "no excuse" for this lack of attention.
Drivers exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions was said to be the cause of 12 percent of crashes accounting for 25 percent of the fatalities.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: ““With last year’s surprising increase in deaths and early indications from 2012 that a trend could be developing, the IAM urges the new road safety minister to make road safety his absolute priority.
“Britain has been at the top of the world road safety league, but a combination of public spending cuts and lack of central targets may be putting this in jeopardy. The 2011 figures show that saving lives on our roads can never be taken for granted and with human error still the top cause of crashes, education and training must take centre stage in the future.”
In 2011, the economic welfare cost of reported road accidents was estimated to be around £15.6 billion.
Digging into the DfT's stats, Chris Peck of the CTC said cycling on rural A roads is over 20 times riskier than cycling on urban minor roads.