London And South-East Are Still Vehicle Collision Hotspots
The number of road accidents being reported across the UK fell by 36 per cent between 2001 and 2012, new figures have confirmed.
According to the latest Safety on Wheels Report published by Post Office Motor Insurance, the North West of England and the West Midlands have seen the biggest improvements in road safety standards over the 11-year period.
Some 29,298 incidents were recorded in the former in 2001, but this figure fell to 15,436 by 2012 - a 47 per cent downturn.
In the West Midlands, there were 21,115 accidents reported at the start of the decade and this dropped to 11,752 last year, representing a 44 per cent decline.
Paul Havenhand, head of insurance at the Post Office, said it is encouraging to see overall road collision figures falling.
"It's clear that measures to improve visibility, road surfaces and car safety devices have had an impact on the number of accidents on our roads, but it's just as important that road users don't become complacent about road safety," he commented.
Earlier this year, the Road Safety Foundation and European Road Assessment Programme published a map that highlighted the most dangerous roads in Britain.
It showed the A537, A5012 and A682 are the most notorious accident blackspots in the country.
While all three of these roads are based in the Midlands or the North of England, the Post Office study suggested it is actually the south-east that has the worst road safety record.
The number of accidents reported in the South East only fell by 30 per cent between 2001 and 2012. Only the East Midlands performed as badly as this.
Mr Havenhand believes the sheer number of vehicles using the roads in places like London means it is no shock to see this region lagging behind other areas in terms of accident rates.
"Driving to work early in the morning and home from work after a long day also means there's a high chance lots of people are driving whilst tired," he added.
Any drop in the number of people being seriously or fatally injured in accidents on the roads is to be welcomed, although the number of preventable crashes and collisions is still too many.
"The human cost to road traffic collisions is never measured, but is very real in the terrible consequences that such accidents have on those who have either lost loved ones or victims left with life-changing catastrophic injuries.
"The work we do allows families and seriously injured victims the chance to access funds which enables them to benefit from vital rehabilitation and recovery services.
"I would urge national and local authorities to continue to work hard to drive down these accident figures further."
Neil Whiteley - Partner