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Britain has busiest and safest roads in Europe

Our roads are the most congested but also some of the safest, according to new figures.

Anyone who has driven in the UK is likely to find the following news hardly surprising. Research from the World Bank has found Britain has the most congested roads in Europe – and by a considerable margin.

The figures reveal there are 77 vehicles for every kilometre of road in Britain. Norway, in comparison, has a mere 29 vehicles per kilometre. In fact, Britain is 76 per cent above the European average.

Luckily our roads are the some of the safest, too, probably because nobody can actually go fast enough to leave 1st gear. 28 people were killed on British roads per million in 2012, a statistic second only to Malta. Norway suffered 148 deaths, equalling 30 deaths per million.

You need only look back to see Britain’s fatality number has been on the decrease. UK road deaths totalled 7,700 in 1972, compared with 1,754 in 2012, which averages out at five deaths per day.

Our figures contrast strongly with US figures, which found 33,780 deaths in 2012. That’s 108 per million, in case you were wondering. Figures estimate 1.24 million people are killed in road accidents every year, putting it in 8th place on the causes of death list ahead of prematurity and behind diabetes.

It’s not surprising our roads are safest considering the sheer volume of traffic and lengthy number of laws motorists have to abide by. Increasingly safe cars no doubt play a significant role, too.

Since 1990 the figures found there has been a 66 per cent reduction in deaths and 62 per cent fewer serious injuries. Minor injuries, which totalled 171,000 in 2012, are still an issue. Some critics believe the actual number could be more than double the estimate.


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