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A-roads more dangerous than motorways, study reveals

Motorists are seven times more likely to be injured or killed in a crash on A-roads than motorways, new research has revealed.

A study by Road Safety Foundation looked at the accident rate on all motorways and A-roads in Britain, and found that serious crashes on motorways cost the country £1.9 billion over the last five years, while damage on A-roads set the UK back a whopping £8.4bn.

The report also showed how different parts of the UK compared, concluding that the east midlands was the most dangerous part of the country.

The risk of death and serious injury in the region is 63 per cent higher than the safer west midlands. This may be because the east midlands includes Britain’s deadliest road, the A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton. Between 2007 and 2011, the road was the cause of 44 serious and fatal crashes.

Pedestrians and cyclists were most at risk, being involved in just over a fifth of fatal and serious crashes on A-roads. 10 per cent of fatal and serious accidents were head-on collisions.

The foundation states that safety will improve and money will be saved if single carriageway roads were converted into dual carriageways.

According to the director of the foundation, Dr. Steve Lawson, improvements in car design will lead to improvements in road safety. He takes better road engineering out of the equation, however, declaring that the specification that authorities set to road managers is too “general” and “weak.”

According to Dr. Lawson, “it muddles factors over which road managers have no control – such as car safety, hospital care and traffic levels – with factors very much under their control, such as roadside safety barriers or junction layouts.”

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