Ageas sponsors Road Safety Foundation Annual Tracking report and regional analysis:
- Hampshire shoulders the biggest crash cost of all counties (£631m over 3 years).
- Kent (£554m), Lancashire (£544m) and Essex (£530m) suffer similarly high economic costs.
- Lowest crash costs are in Torfaen (£20m) and Merthyr Tydfil (£23m) in Wales, followed by Midlothian (£33m).
- Highways England handles the biggest single crash costs of any authority: £2.1bn over the 3-year period.
- Most persistently high risk road in Britain is A18 Laceby to Ludborough in East Midlands/Yorkshire.
- Half of all Britain's road deaths are concentrated on just 10% of roads - the British EuroRAP network of motorways and 'A' roads outside urban cores.
- Britain's most improved road is the A70 Cumnock to Ayr in Scotland; a 94% reduction in the number of fatal and serious crashes over time from 16 (2008-10) to 1 (2011-13).
- The largest single cause of death is running off the road: the largest cause of serious injury is at junctions.
- An estimated 2% of total GDP is lost in road crashes.
Analysis of the cost of crashes on the complete network of roads (45,000 kms) in British non-metropolitan authorities by charity The Road Safety Foundation, and sponsored by Ageas UK, finds huge disparity among the authorities. In the three-year period studied (2011-2013), four authorities – Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire and Essex – each suffered more than £500m – or a combined £2.3bn – of economic loss on their roads from crashes resulting in death and serious injury alone.
Even for the authorities reported with the lowest economic loss per capita, serious road crashes alone are costing their economies £200-300 per capita: Caerphilly (£211) and Torfaen (£219) in Wales.
This year’s Foundation report, How much do road crashes cost where you live? also highlights the regions with the lowest and highest risk roads and the most risky road in each region.
Ageas UK takes an active role in improving safety of Britain’s roads and has been in partnership with the Road Safety Foundation for over four years and this year Ageas has partnered with Hampshire Constabulary by sponsoring a vehicle fitted with the latest Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to help identify uninsured drivers. Police data indicates that Hampshire had the second highest number of offenders caught for driving without insurance in England last year, with 2,742 offenders being caught by Hampshire Police (2014**). And coupled with Hampshire also having the largest crash costs over three years, the initiative is set to reduce road deaths and injuries, as well as maintain insurance premiums for honest drivers.
Commenting on the report, Andy Watson, Chief Executive of Ageas UK says: “It is possible to make road safety pay. As this report shows, local authorities can invest small amounts which remove known high risks on the roads – potentially avoiding spending large amounts on expensive local services such as long term care when the brain or spine are injured.
“As Britain’s third largest motor insurer, we support our customers daily when they are involved in road crashes. Our employees understand the distress and suffering experienced first-hand. We are committed to supporting the development of new approaches based on evidence and data.
“This latest annual report is rich in data and mapping. I look forward to the debate that the new data will stimulate as major changes to national roads and local authority finance bring new opportunities and challenges to reduce death on the roads.”
In his foreword to the report, Road Safety Foundation Chairman, Lord Whitty says: “Travel on single carriageway ‘A’ roads has become eight times more risky than on motorways. The most improved roads show just how effective small infrastructure safety improvements can be. But the pace of improvement is far too slow – just 2% of the network shows material reduction in risk.
“On many ‘A’ roads, the margin for human error is often small. The largest single cause of death is running off the road, where poor roadside protection can see brutal impacts take place. Junctions remain the largest source of serious injury as vehicle side impact protection is at its most limited. We can expect improvements in vehicle collision detection systems at junctions, but the road infrastructure and new vehicle systems need to be developed hand in hand if we want to see a real increase in road safety.”
Notes to editors
The detailed data used to produce these results was commissioned from TRL Limited and included the creation of the British EuroRAP network of road sections, assignment of crashes and traffic data to individual routes and classification of crash types.
An interim report issued in June 2015 featured the A285 as the most persistently high risk road between the periods 2007-2009 and 2010-1012. This current report covers the periods 2008-2010 and 2011-2013, the number of crashes on the A285 fell slightly between 2008-2010, falling below the threshold of other road sections in the current table. The route remains the highest risk in the South East region.
The full report is available on the Road Safety Foundation website
**Roads Policing Unit statistics, 2015