Danger Check: Do You Live Near One Of The UK’s Most Dangerous Roads?
by Ed Scott
Britain’s roads are getting safer – according to the Road Safety Foundation’s (RSF) annual report the number of fatalities decreased by 2% between 2012 and 2013. However as many as 64 people are still getting killed or seriously injured every single day.
That’s more than 2,300 people every year.
And although the risk on Britain’s ‘A’ roads and motorways has reduced by 12% over the last six years, single carriageway ‘A’ roads have seven times the risk of motorways and three times the risk of dual carriageways.
Not only that, but six out of ten crashes occur on rural roads.
The RSF’s annual report identified 10 of Britain’s most dangerous roads and nine of those were single-carriageway roads – here’s how the list broke down…
Britain’s most dangerous road – A285
It’s easy to assume that Britain’s most dangerous road would be a heavily used motorway, or a particularly busy and fast-moving part of dual carriageway – in actual fact it’s a 12-mile section of coastal road in southern England.
The stretch of the A285 between Chichester and West Sussex has topped a list of high and medium-risk roads which have shown little or no change in accident levels after a 16% increase in the number of crashes – including at junctions, running off the road and even head-on collisions – was recorded between 2007 and 2012.
The road runs north to south, linking the A27 with the A272 and runs through the picturesque South Downs National Park, and although this hardly conjures up images of the road to Hell, it was the scene of 39 fatal and serious accidents between 2007 and 2012.
North of the border
The report identified two roads in Scotland as the next most dangerous – the 10-mile stretch of the A811 in Glasgow has seen some 28 serious and fatal accidents during the five years between 2007 and 2012, while there have been 18 fatal or serious accidents along a relatively tiny eight-mile section of the A937 between Montrose and Ago.
Roads to avoid
The rest of the list breaks down as follows –
- A 10-mile stretch of A18 between Lacey and Ludborough has seen 30 accidents between 2007 and 2012
- Five miles of the A6, at junction 33 in Lancaster where it meets with the M6 has been the site of a staggering 52 fatal or serious crashes over the same period.
- The A61 in Wakefield, at junction 44 where it meets the M1 has witnessed 47 fatal or serious crashes
- The four-mile stretch of the A36 near Totton has seen 24 crashes
- There have been 32 crashes on five miles of the A589 around Lancaster
- Seven-and-a-half miles of the A643 between Brighouse and Morley saw 24 fatal or serious crashes between 2007 and 2012
- Just under four miles of A4300 through Kettering saw 25 accidents during the same period.
If you’re confused as to why a stretch of road in Scotland that has seen just 18 fatal or serious crashes in a five-year period is considered more dangerous than one that has seen 52 fatal or serious crashes over the same period, it’s because the figures are based upon EuroRAP ratings.
These ratings are based not only upon the amount of accidents that occur on a road, but on more than 30 different road design features that are known to influence the likelihood of a crash and its severity – including, intersection design, road cross-section and markings, roadside hazards, footpaths and cycle lanes.
Avoiding an accident
Obviously, you can’t go around avoiding roads just because it has an increased crash risk, but you can reduce the risk by keeping within the advertised speed limits and being aware of what’s happening on the road around you at all times.
Driving at a safe speed and paying attention to the road ahead will mean you have a better chance of anticipating and avoiding an accident.
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