By: Dave Robbins
14 November 2014
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Unless you absolutely have to go there, you might want to avoid travelling on the A285 in West Sussex. There’s a 12 mile stretch between Chichester and Petworth that has just been dubbed Britain’s most dangerous stretch of road. In a five-year period, between 2007 and 2012, fatal crashes increased by 16%, earning it the title: ‘Britain’s riskiest road’.
There is however plenty of good road safety news too. The number of fatal and serious crashes on 15 stretches of UK road previously described as unacceptably dangerous has reduced by 80%. According to the report, which was prepared by the Road Safety Foundation, the most improved road is the A404 between High Wycombe and Great Missenden in Bucks. Here a resurfaced road, reduced speed limit, vehicle activated signs, reflective bollards, better lighting and cats’ eyes all contributed to making this section of road much safer.
On a regional basis, the Midlands top and tail the fatal crash league table. The East Midlands has the highest number of fatal crashes per billion vehicle kilometres, whereas the West Midlands has the lowest. But wherever you are in the UK, an average, single carriageway ‘A’ road is seven times more risky than a motorway.
As well as saving lives and reducing injuries, improving road safety has a cost benefit too. Currently the annual cost of serious injuries on UK roads is £2bn. So any improvements we can make to our driving, taking that bit of extra care to avoid a potential accident situation is a benefit for all of us, both in social and financial terms.