The number of people killed on UK roads is in decline, with the number of fatalities actually halving over the last decade, from 3,508 in 2003, to 1,713 in 2013*.
And even though the 8,560 motorists reported killed or seriously injured in the 12 months up until June 2013 represented a drop of 6% on the previous 12-month period, motorists shouldn’t get complacent. We all still need to recognise the dangers of certain roads.
So where in the UK are you more likely to have an accident? In the bumper-to-bumper congested city streets or on a barely-used country road? If you’re instinct tells you more cars = more crash risk, you’d be mistaken.
A-roads not OK, especially in the East Midlands
A recent report by the Road Safety Foundation revealed the risk to road users of death or serious injury is seven times greater on single-carriageway A-roads than it is on motorways. In fact, fast-moving single-carriageways account for almost two-thirds (62%) of fatal or serious crashes.
And of the 64 people who are killed or seriously injured on UK roads every day, most of these devastating accidents happen at junctions.
The report also revealed how there are regional variances at work when it comes to road accidents, with the risk of death or serious injury being greatest on major roads in the East Midlands, where drivers are two-thirds more likely to be involved in a serious crash than their counterparts in the West Midlands.
Country roads, take me home?
Country roads have also been highlighted among the worst of the UK’s motoring black spots, with rural roads claiming an average of three lives every day – accounting for over half (60%) of the total number of people killed on UK roads.
This means that even though the volume of traffic is significantly lower than on the UK’s motorway network, the number of people killed on them is actually 11 times higher.
So how can you stay safe on the road?
How to avoid an accident
High speeds, sharp bends and dangerous junctions all contribute to road fatalities – and that’s before you factor in low visibility and adverse weather conditions. The best way to stay safe on the road is to simply adhere to the rules, pay attention to speed limits and warning signs, and be aware of what’s going on around you.
If you can anticipate what’s going on on the road ahead, you’re much less likely to be involved in a smash. Always read the road ahead to try and anticipate potential hazards up ahead, drive at a speed that gives you a sufficient stopping distance and always adapt your driving to allow for the conditions.
If you’re involved in an accident
Unfortunately, no matter how vigilant you are, some accidents are unavoidable. Here’s what to do if you’re involved in an accident:
- Stop - no matter how small you think the bump is, you should stop, turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights to warn other road users of the dangers.
- Call 999 or 101 – if anyone has been injured, call the emergency services straight away. And if the accident is blocking the road you must call the police.
- Take notes – while at the scene you should give your details to anyone else involved – including insurance policies – as well as taking their details in return. You should also make a note of the registration numbers of the other vehicles involved and get the details of any other witnesses. It’s also worth taking a picture of the scene and the damage if possible on your phone.
- Report the accident – you need to report the accident to the police within 24-hours.