With the UK’s increasingly congested road system accidents are inevitable, but which roads offer the safest journey; Single lane A road’s, dual carriage ways or 3-4 lane motorways – the answer to this question may surprise you.
It would seem logical that roads with the highest flow of traffic would offer the highest risk of serious accident or fatality to motorists. In actual fact this couldn’t be further from the truth; by far the most dangerous stretches of road in the UK are the many A roads that crisscross the country in a hazardous network offering up sharp corners, concealed junctions and poor road surfaces for the unsuspecting motorist.
Car insurance premiums continue to rise each year, in part, due to the ever increasing cost of claims settlement; made worse by the compensation nation in which we find ourselves. Coupled with increases on insurance tax it makes the use of comparison sites ever more important when searching for car insurance quotes at renewal time.
Some motorway networks can of course also carry increased risks over others and this is an area that Scotland seems to do less well in. Due in main to many highways being remote with steep falls and stone walls in places which present many hazards to a motorist unfamiliar with the roads.
Focussing on the top 10 most dangerous A roads in the UK, ranked by accidents per km stretch of road, the following make the top 10 (information sourced and adapted from a survey by the Road Safety Foundation):
|Road No.||Description||Road Length (km)||No. of Serious /Fatal Collisions||Junctions||Involving Pedestrians /Cyclists||Number of Accidents Per km|
|A537||Macclesfield – Buxton||12||27||22||4||2.25|
|A255||Margate – Ramsgate||8||18||22||61||2.25|
|A62||M62 J27 – A6110||5||9||44||0||1.80|
|A621||A619 – Totley||9||12||42||0||1.33|
|A675||M65 J3 – Bolton||13||17||18||6||1.31|
|A5004||Whaley Bridge – Buxton||12||15||20||0||1.25|
|A285||A27 – Petworth||19||18||22||6||0.95|
|A5012||A515 – A6||15||14||21||14||0.93|
|A54||Congleton – Buxton||24||20||15||20||0.83|
|A686||Penrith – Haydon Bridge||8||35||14||6||0.60|
Road crashes currently cost the country around £18bn each year, the high cost coming from the deployment of emergency services and post-crash healthcare. Yet a large percentage of this could be saved by instigating a few simple measures on the worst offending road stretches.
Adding better signage, improved road markings and anti-skid coating have all been proven to dramatically decrease the risk of accident on some of the UK’s worst stretches of road but this has only been implemented in a very small number of cases.
If any of this has shocked you or you happen to travel on one of the above roads on a regular basis then don’t worry, these simple measures can make all the difference to your safety; Moderate your speed and stick to signed limits, double-check your mirrors several times before making a manoeuvre or leaving a junction and – above all – treat every other road user as a potential hazard.