More than 300 people in the UK are alive today or not crippled because just 15 roads have had simple improvements put in place.
The Simple Measures Save Lives survey by the Road Safety Foundation showed that on these 15 roads alone, fatal and serious crashes dropped 62% from 494 to 190.
Elementary safety measures are paying back the costs of investment in an average of 10 weeks. The savings are worth over £50m annually to emergency services, the NHS, local authority care, businesses and families.
This year’s most improved road is an 11km section of the A4128 through Buckinghamshire from Great Missenden to High Wycombe. Over the last two surveys, it has moved from one of Britain’s highest risk roads to one of the safest. Over this time, fatal and serious collisions dropped by 89%, from 19 to 2.
This non-primary single carriageway A road is a busy route connecting local villages, and carrying high volumes of commuter traffic. Safety measures put in place include some new speed restrictions; and an innovative use of solar-powered road studs to improve night-time visibility.
Of the UK’s 15 most improved roads, almost half are single carriageways, and are spread across the country. Consultation with road authorities on these sections found that common crash types were single vehicles losing control at bends and rear-end collisions at junctions and during busy periods.
Improvements on the 15 roads include:
signing, markings and the design and layout of junctions
speed limit review and the use of speed enforcement
resurfacing, including the use of high-friction, anti-skid treatments on bends
central safety barriers
Dr Joanne Hill said: “These are practical, largely inexpensive solutions which will pay back the costs of investment in an average of 10 weeks – a 500% rate of return in the first year alone – and go on saving lives and saving money for the nation for many years to come. Much of this remedial work can be done as part of routine maintenance.”