It’s a good question, isn’t it – where exactly do you feel safest driving your car? As a young driver, my immediate answer wouldn’t be on a motorway because I don’t have that much experience on them, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the roads I travel on day-in-day-out to get to work and to see my mates are safer.
According to the Department for Transport (DfT) Reported accidents and accident rates by road class and severity report, in 2010 there were 154,414 reported car accidents in Great Britain. Of these, 6,500 occurred on motorways, the rest – that’s all 147,914 – occurred on A, B and minor roads.
However, that statistic cannot possibly tell the whole story. Obviously, if you add up the actual mileage of motorways compared with rural and urban other roads, there’s a lot less motorway out there. So, the DfT have worked out stats to show the rates of accident occurrence on the different types of roads per billion miles. So, surely that will show that motorways are more dangerous than other roads, won’t it?
No – in 2010 the rate of reported accidents on motorways was 107 per billion miles, on A roads it was 513 per billion miles and other roads (B, C and unclassified roads excluding accidents where class was not reported) the rate was 685 per billion miles.
In terms of fatal and serious accidents, there were 781 reported on motorways in 2010, whilst on all other roads 21,390 fatal and serious accidents were reported.
By looking at the rate of accidents which occurred on motorways it is easy to see that you are far less likely to suffer an accident on these major routes than if you were to take a back road to your destination.
So, if you’re feeling nervous about driving on a motorway, don’t be. With a bit of experience they can be the safest way to get around the country and if you need some tuition, why not take a Pass Plus course – insurethebox will even give you cheaper car insurance when you get your certificate. It’s a win-win situation.
Image © dingbat2005 via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence