The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has published a new road safety league table, which puts England top with the lowest rate for deaths on the roads, ahead of Scotland and Wales, with Northern Ireland.
In England the north east and the north west are the safest places to drive, while the east Midlands is the most dangerous.
Commenting on the league table, IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “While the UK is now top of the European road safety league, the risk of being killed on UK roads varies considerably around the country. Road deaths in Northern Ireland are twice that of north east England.
“Bringing the worst areas in the UK up to the same level of the best would save many more lives and reduce serious injuries. This should be a prime focus for central, devolved and local government road safety plans.”
Interestingly, while England’s northern regions are the safest they are at the bottom of the car ownership league table — more than a quarter of households don’t own a car. Over 80 per cent of households in the south east and the south west own one or more. Overall in England car ownership fell in 2009, in Wales there was no change, and in Scotland there was a modest increase on 2008.
Greig said: “Car ownership is a good measure of prosperity. Regional declines in ownership and the fact that ownership is much higher in the south of England reflects the UK’s economic and employment trends.”