How safe are the UK roads?
More than 26,000 people died on Europe’s roads last year, according to a report by the European Transport Safety Council.
But it did find that the UK can boast to having some of the safest roads in Europe, coming a close second to Sweden, for the country with fewer road deaths per billion miles travelled.
However, the UK falls down the rankings to fourth for road deaths per million inhabitants.
The safest roads in the world – but not for everyone
But while the UK may rank high for lowest numbers of road deaths, when it comes to pedestrians, it’s a very different story. The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, found that the UK has one of the worst records for deaths of these road users. The findings also revealed that Britain has a higher ratio of road deaths of 18 to 24-year-olds, compared to other age groups.
Rise in road users killed or seriously injured
During July to September last year, the number of vehicles on our roads increased by 1.4%. This may have contributed to overall increase in the number of road users killed or seriously injured, with the biggest rise of 10% attributed to car users. Pedestrians killed or seriously injured rose by 3%. Motorcyclist casualties rose by 5% and pedal cyclist casualties were up 2%.
As car occupants, child casualties increased by 8%, although the number of child pedestrians killed or seriously injured dropped by 2%.
Where are the best and worst roads in Britain?
According to an analysis of road accident statistics between 2011 and 2015, the West Midlands ranks as the worst region for road accidents in the UK, with a shocking 37,153 people either hurt or killed. Kent, Hampshire, Thames Valley and West Yorkshire follow closely behind. But Dumfries and Galloway came out on top as the safest region in the country, with only 1,894 casualties over a five-year period.
Top 10 Safest Areas to Drive
Dumfries & Galloway
- City of London
- Argyll & West Dunbartonshire
- Renfrewshire & Inverclyde
- Forth Valley
- Highlands & Islands
- Aberdeenshire & Moray
Most dangerous age group behind the wheel
Drivers aged between 26 and 35 proved to be the most dangerous on UK roads. They were involved in 21% of overall road accidents. While those aged between 16 and 20 were involved in just 14%, and the oldest drivers (66 to 75) only 5%.
Avoid being on the road on Thursdays
If you had to pick a day of the week when the most accidents occur, you’ll probably say Monday. But in actual fact, the research suggests you are more likely to crash on a Thursday, and actually least likely to have a road accident on Mondays.
Rural roads are more dangerous
Statistically, you are more likely to be killed or seriously injured on rural roads than in urban areas. Rural areas tend to have fewer traffic-calming measures installed and a higher risk of impact collisions. However, many cities and towns are reporting that their accident figures have fallen below the national average making driving safer.