Reducing road accidents


Reducing road accidents

The town council has allocated £100,000 to spend on reducing road accidents. Pupils work in small teams to analyse data on recent road accidents and build a convincing case.


New: new software version for 2019 no longer needs Flash!

Pupils imagine that they live in a small town where, over the past year, there has been a large number of road accidents. The town council has set up an enquiry to see what could be done and has allocated £100,000 to spend on measures to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries from road accidents. Pupils work in small teams to plan the most effective way to allocate the money, choosing from a wide range of possible measures; these include: build new road crossings or roundabouts, install traffic lights, design publicity campaigns aimed at specific groups of people. To support the work, the police have provided data on all the road accidents. Pupils use a specially constructed computer program to analyse this data, develop their proposals based on the results, build a convincing case for their proposal and then present it.


The Assesment Guide for Reducing Road Accidents is comprehensive guide to help teachers to assess pupils' achievement and progression as they work on the activities. It includes sample work and progression charts.

Assessment Guide (PDF) Editable version (DOCX)

Mathematical content

Explore a town's accident database. Control variables to decide on the most effective allocation of a sum of money to provide safety measures. Prepare a case and present it.

Specific Key Stage 3 National Curriculum areas covered include:

  • Key processes - represent a situation from the real world; analyse it using mathematical procedures, determining appropriate variables; interpret and evaluate the evidence and communicate and reflect on the results .
  • Number and algebra - use rules of arithmetic applied to calculations and manipulations with rational numbers; applying ratio and proportion.
  • Geometry and measures - use points, lines and shapes in 2D coordinate systems.
  • Statistics - use the handling data cycle; present and analyse grouped and ungrouped data.
  • Curriculum opportunities - thinking, reasoning and problem solving; working collaboratively; group discussion and communicating mathematical reasoning.

Organisation and pedagogy

This Case Study supports five to six hour-long lessons of classroom activity, interspersed with modest amounts of homework, organised into four stages. A mixture of class, group and individual work is involved. It is suitable for all pupils in Years 7, 8 or 9 - younger pupils or lower attaining learners may need more time.

Resources provided

This Case Study contains:

  • Teacher's Guide (PDF): read this first for a more complete overview and for detailed lesson plans.
  • Using the Software (PDF): guide to operating the software.
  • Pupil handouts (PDF): copy masters for all handouts and worksheets.
  • Software for PC and Mac: needed for stages 2 and 3 - it can be run directly from this page.
  • Software installers: more details and options for getting the software onto pupils' machines.
  • Data files (.xls and .csv): provided for advanced users who want to use the data set with other spreadsheet, graphing or statistics software.

The Teacher's Guide and Using the Software documents look best when printed double-sided, in colour, and bound into a booklet or ring-binder. Some of the Handouts are best copied onto stiff paper and cut up into cards.

Resource requirements

(including hardware & software)

  • The Teacher's Guide looks best when printed double-sided, in colour, and bound into a booklet or ring-binder.
  • Some of the handouts are best copied onto stiff paper and cut up into cards.
  • Some lessons require a computer for each pair or small group of students running the supplied software.
  • The software is compatible with Windows PCs or Apple Mac.
  • To run the software online or in a web browser requires Flash Player 8 or later (available from Internet Explorer may warn about "Blocked Content" when running the browser-based version of the software from disc. Users must choose to allow this. Installing the stand-alone PC version avoids these issues.
  • Pupils may require access to a printer and/or materials to make posters for the final presentation.