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Making road travel as safe as rail and air

14 November 2016

“Travelling on our road system could be made as safe as on rail and air within a generation.” This is the message of this year’s EuroRAP analysis of crashes on the British network of motorways and A roads outside urban cores, carried out by charity The Road Safety Foundation, and sponsored by Ageas UK.

The same systematic approach to measuring and managing risks needs to be applied to roads as that taken by industries ranging from medicine to mining as well as aviation and rail.  Road deaths are now 10 times greater than all deaths in all workplaces added together. Not a single rail passenger or worker has been killed over the last nine consecutive years, while commercial airline travel is even safer than rail. On highways, there is greater discipline protecting road workers from risks than the general public using them, the report says.

The full report is available here. Some key facts include:

For the first time, the South East is the area with highest rate of death and serious injury on the network

In the South East, risk is over 80% higher than the risk for the network in the West Midlands, the English region with the lowest rate of death and serious injury

The cost of road crashes in Hampshire, Kent and Essex each exceed £0.5 billion over the three year data period 2012-14

England’s most improved strategic road is a 13km section of the A1 near Newcastle

The largest single cause of death is running off the road (29%); the largest cause of serious injury is at junctions (33%)

An estimated 2% of total GDP is lost in road crashes

Highways England handles the biggest single crash costs of any authority: £2.1 billion over the three year period

Report calls for government to boost the economy by investing in proven measures to deliver safer infrastructure and tackle unacceptably high risk roads


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