Official: British roads are Europe’s most congested

19 Feb, 2014 4:18pm Alex Yau

Britain’s roads are the busiest in Europe, but they’re also among the safest according to new figures

New research has put the official stamp on what many British motorists have long suspected: that our roads are the busiest and most congested in Europe.  

Figures gathered by World Bank reveal that there are 77 vehicles per kilometre of British road. That’s 76 per cent higher than the European average. In comparison, Norwegian roads, which are the quietest in Europe, have just 29 vehicles per kilometre of road.

Yet despite these figures, British motorists can drive safely knowing their roads are some of the safest in the world. Just 28 people were killed on our roads per million of population in 2012. That’s the second lowest total in the EU after Malta.

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There were 33,760 road deaths in the US throughout 2012. That’s one of the highest road fatality figures in the developed world and is three times higher than the UK fatality rate. A total of 1.24 million people are killed in road accidents around the world each year.

Although traffic has increased, UK road deaths have declined steadily. 7.700 deaths were recorded in 1972, 5,500 in the mid ‘80s and 1,754 in 2012. The current average is five deaths a day.

Serious injuries have decreased by 62 per cent since that date. Less serious injuries make up the main casualty numbers. 171,000 of these were recorded in 2012, but there could be more, as 40 per cent of whiplash claims go unreported.