Britain’s generally hilly topography and patchwork quilt of field, forest and downs often makes for treacherous, low-visibility driving. According to a new study by the Road Safety Foundation, Britain’s most dangerous roads tend to be single roads used heavily by motorcycles. Using some objective measures, the foundation has determined that northern England and Scotland are home to the UK’s most unsafe driving conditions, while the West Midlands region is comparatively safe. Read on to learn about five of the Kingdom’s most dangerous roads and what you can do to protect yourself behind the wheel.
A537 Between Macclesfield and Buxton
All of the thoroughfares on this list are narrow A-class roads, and none are more dangerous than the 12-km stretch of A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton. Between 2005 and 2007, the study period for all of the roads examined herein, this byway had the dubious honor of boasting the greatest number of fatal accidents per kilometer and was tied with the next most-dangerous road for the greatest number of total crashes per kilometer.
A255 Between Margate and Ramsgate
At just 8 kilometers, this spur of the A255 had one of the greatest concentrations of accidents in the entire country: 2.25 per kilometer during the 2005-2007 study period. What makes this road so dangerous is the interplay between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians: The towns that bookend the stretch are quite congested, and the roadway itself is heavily populated and home to many people who use cycles as their primary mode of transportation. According to the Road Safety Foundation, there were 61 total accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists during the study period.
A62 Between the M62 J-27 Interchange and the A6110
This stretch of road is even shorter than the problematic A255 corridor, but it’s seen its share of horrific accidents during the past decade. The problem with the A62 is its congested nature and the frequency of its junctions with other lanes and roadways: The road averages nearly 10 junctions per kilometer. According to Road Safety Foundation statistics, junctions are a major culprit in automobile crashes, with fully one-third of all UK accidents occurring at or near intersections and roundabouts.
A621 Between A619 and Totley
Junctions play a similarly destructive role on this 9-km stretch of the A621. There are 44 in total on this otherwise unassuming roadway, leading to an accidents-per-kilometer rating of 1.33 during the study period.
A675 Between the M65 J3 Interchange and Bolton
The A675 has fewer junctions than most of the other roads on this list, which leads to a different sort of problem: high rates of speed. Although the A675 doesn’t appear difficult to navigate at first glance, it saw 17 serious crashes between 2005 and 2007. Its single-lane A-class roads are by far the most dangerous thoroughfares in the United Kingdom. Junctions and roadways shared with pedestrians and cyclists are especially dangerous. Remember, you’re in control: If you slow down and use caution, you’re far less likely to become a statistic.
Carrie Tinock lives and writes in London. She writes for http://www.carinsurance.org.uk where you can find more information on car insurance, trips, and tips for saving money when you drive.