England tops UK road safety league

14.27 | 24 February 2011 | | 3 comments

England tops the UK’s road safety league table with the lowest rate for deaths on the roads, according to a report published by the IAM.

The report ‘Comparisons – England’s regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’ reveals that in 2009 there were 3.8 fatalities per 100,000 people in the UK. England is lowest with 3.6 fatalities per 100,000, compared with Northern Ireland (6.4) – the highest. Both Scotland and Wales stand at 4.2.

The north east (2.8 fatalities per 100,000) and the north west of England (3.4) are the safest places to drive, while the east Midlands (5.1) is the most dangerous.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “While the UK is now top of the European road safety league, the risk of being killed on UK roads varies considerably around the country. Road deaths in Northern Ireland are twice that of north east England.

“Bringing the worst areas in the UK up to the same level of the best would save many more lives and reduce serious injuries. This should be a prime focus for central, devolved and local government road safety plans.”

While England’s northern regions are the safest, they are at the bottom of the car ownership league table – more than a quarter of households don’t own a car. This is compared with over 80% of households in the south east and the south west who own one or more.

Click here to download the report, or for more information contact the IAM Press Office on 020 8996 9777.


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    Once again Honor is right. The simplicity of the measure creates flaws in the interpretation. How do we deal with suicide rates of, in men 17.5 per 100,000 and women 5.2 per 100,000 population? As these figures will also have an effect on the public health funding to LAs shoud we be looking to have meaningful data to determine where to focus our limited resources?

    Peter Wilson, Westminster
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    Honor is absolutley right, and I get a bit fed up with IAM’s simplistic treatment of casualty stats. They are not alone unfortunately – the Regional Health Observatories also use KSI/100KPOP. Crucially, that’s the figure used by public health so the extra funding we’re expecting from transferring PH to LA control may not appear where it’s most needed. EG West Midlands – all 7 Mets have below average KSI/100KPOP figures, so no problem then?

    Mike Mounfield, Birmingham
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    The casualty rate per 100,00 population is a very simple, and rather simplistic, measure. It is probably the easiest one to measure but that isn’t a good enough reason to rely so heavily upon it. It takes no account of even the average mileage driven and, therefore, exposure to risk. Anyone who lives in a rural area has to cover a much greater mileage on rural roads in order to access work, education and general services e.g. shops, doctor etc. This applies to all driving/riding age groups but is a particular potential risk for young novice drivers and riders who use rural roads and to older people whose travel patterns and needs are also very different. With such reduced resources it is very important that we foicus what we do where it is most needed and where the risk is actually highest – so a more focussed analysis that incorporates relative or actual exposure to risk is essential.

    Honor Byford, North Yorkshire
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