Motorway Safety Statistics

A third of motorists have admitted to driving a car without a valid MOT certificate – and some drivers say their illegal road use has gone on for as long as six months, according to a survey by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. SMMT found that of the third who had driven without an MOT, 67 per cent said they put off getting the certificate for up to a week, while 24 per cent had gone a month, seven per cent for up to six months and two per cent for more than six months.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Aug 2013

The number of people killed in road accidents reported to the police decreased to 1,754 in 2012 from 1,901 in 2011. This means that there were 147 fewer deaths in 2012 in comparison with the previous year, a fall of 8 per cent. This is the lowest number of people killed in road accidents on record and an apparent return to the downward trend that ran from 2003 to 2010.

Source: Department for Transport

In 2012 casualties on motorways decreased for all severities (killed, seriously injured, slightly injured were down 17, 12 and 5 per cent respectively) against a decrease of 0.4 per cent in traffic. In total 5,615 accidents on motorways were reported to the police in 2012, 4 per cent fewer than in 2011.

Source: Department for Transport 2012

10% of people would rather give up their car than be disconnected from the internet.

Source: Boston Consulting

4% of British motorists drive uninsured.

Source: Motor Insurers’ Bureau

1 in 6 british drivers do not have an MOT for their car.

Source: PC Tools 2011

4 million parking fines were issued by British Councils last year.

Source: Traffic Penalty Tribunal 2011

164 UK road deaths are blamed on under inflated car tyres in the past five years. From Nov 2012, all new cars must have pressure monitoring systems as standard.

Source: Car 2011

Children aged 12 and under should ALWAYS ride in the back seat of a car. This cuts their risk of death in a road accident by 36%.

Source: 2011

24% of British drivers have paid off another driver following an accident which they were at fault.

Source: Telegraph Motoring 2011

1/5 of UK motorists admit accessing social networking sites on their mobile phone while driving.

Source: Telegraph Motoring 2011

1/4 of UK motorists driving with children admit to not always using child seats.

Three in ten drivers (28%) knew people who did not wear a seat belt in the front of the car and just over four in ten drivers (43%) knew people who did not wear a seat belt in the back of a car.

Source: Think Road Safety Annual Survey 2008

Almost half of all respondents (46%) agreed that road safety advertising is actually having a strong impact on the way people behave on the roads.

Source: Think Road Safety Annual Survey 2008

43% of drivers were unable to successfully identify the national speed limit sign when shown.

Source: Think Road Safety Annual Survey 2008

37% of car, van and lorry drivers said they carried on driving when too tired.

Source: Think Road Safety Annual Survey 2008

Only 33% of drivers completely agreed that it is dangerous to drive at 90mph on the motorway when there is no traffic.

Source: Think Road Safety Annual Survey 2008

Every day about 9 people will die and a further 78 will be seriously injured on our roads and excessive speed is a factor in a significant number of these accidents.

Source: Department for Transport

25 years after the first seatbelt law came into action, around 370 people a year are still being killed in road crashes because they do not wear a seatbelt.

Source: RoSPA (2008)

Driver error is present in 90% of motorway accidents (with mechanical failure accounting for only 10%).

Source: Smart Driving 2008

Most drivers have a reaction time of over half a second (this is before they even touch the brakes).

Source: Smart Driving 2008

Government statistics show that 6% of all fatal motorway accidents are caused by under-inflated tyres.

Source: Which? Online 26th Feb 2008

A Michelin tyre pressure campaign found the UK ranked a dismal 25th out of 27 EU countries, with only Greece and Latvia having a worse record.

Source: Which? Online 26th Feb 2008

As many as 10% of people who use their vehicles for work have admitted falling asleep at the wheel in the past 12 months, according to a new survey.

Source: Brake and Green Flag, 2008

At least a quarter of road deaths involve someone driving for a living. Last year there were 858 deaths and 6,622 serious injuries in crashes involving at-work drivers.

Source: Department for Transport, 2008

Many motorists suffer from “rusty driver syndrome” through rarely venturing on to the roads. As many as 11% of motorists do not drive for two years or more after passing their test.

Source: Churchill Car Insurance, Sept 2007

The first revised Highway Code in eight years was released on 28th September 2007 – 50% bigger and containing 29 extra rules.

Source: 28th Sept 2007

Slippery roads accounted for 55 percent of road traffic accidents in which road environment was a contributory factor.

Source: Department for Transport (DfT) figures 2007

“Speeding, Speeding is not just inconsiderate driving – it contributes to the 36,000 serious injuries and 3,000 deaths that occur on Britain’s roads each year. More than two thirds of all accidents in which people are killed or seriously injured happen on roads where the speed limit is 40mph or less. At 35mph you are twice as likely to kill someone as you are at 30mph.”


“Driving tired, Falling asleep at the wheel is the cause of around 20% of accidents on long journeys on trunk roads and motorways. Men aged 30 and under are more likely to have a sleep related vehicle accident. The greatest risk of falling asleep at the wheel is between midnight and 6am.”


“[speed] cameras are a very effective way of saving lives. On average, at camera sites: 35% fewer people are killed and seriously injured 56% fewer pedestrians are killed or seriously injured.”

Source: ROSPA Presenting Road Safety. A Guide for the Media

“[Motorcycle accidents:] head injuries account for around 80% of fatalaties and 60% of serious injuries are to the legs.”

Source: ROSPA Presenting Road Safety. A Guide for the Media

“There were the following accidents on Major roads 1,818 fatal, 13,284 serious, 88,399 slight on Motorways, A(M) and A roads.”

Source: National Statistics publication produced by Trabsport Statistics: DfT

“Current statistics indicate that …. more than 1,500 people are killed or injured each year on the hard shoulder.”

Source: Green Flag Motoring Assistance

“Every year there are more than five million road accidents in Britain, resulting in about 35,000 fatal, or serious injuries with as many as 1,000 road deaths and 13,000 serious injuries involving people who were working at the time.”

Source: Transport Statistics Bulletin. Road Casualties in Great Britain.

Motorway Congestion

80% of motorists travel fewer than 20 miles a day.

Source: Telegraph Motoring 2011

The motorway showing the largest growth between 2001 and 2006 was the M2, with a 26 per cent increase in traffic over that time.

Source: Department of Transport

Traffic on motorways has grown faster (27 per cent) over the last ten years than any other road type.

Source: Department of Transport

Nationally, we make 61 billion journeys a year, more than 1,000 a year for every person. Road congestion costs the economy an officially estimated £7-8 billion a year.

Source: Department of Transport

A 5% cut in travel time would save businesses £2.5 billion a year.

Source: Government-commissioned transport study by Sir Rod Eddington

Road users pay £32 billion a year in tax but only £8billion of that is spent on improving and maintaining the system.

Source: David Smith, Sunday Times 2nd March 2008

Congestion poses a very real long-term economic threat. If left unchecked it could cost us an extra £22 billion in wasted time by 2025 in England alone.

Source: Department for Transport

“Figures from the Dept of Transport show Birminghams motorways and major roads suffer the largest delays in England outside of London.

M42 eastbound during evening peak – 1 in 10 journeys involve delays of 11 minutes or more for every 10 miles driven.

M42 westbound during evening peak – 1 in 10 journeys suffer delays of more than 7 minutes for every 10 miles driven.”
Source: Congestion On The Strategic Road Network by D.O.T.

“Nationally the worst journey times are experienced on the M25 and Southern section of the M1.”

Source: Congestion On The Strategic Road Network by D.O.T.

“Congestion to West Midlands is estimated to cost the local economy £2.5 billion every year.”

Source: Black Country Mail

“10% [of Europe’s] road network … is congested.”

Source: Colchester Evening Gazette

“England’s motorways and trunk roads are the busiest in Europe with 153 billion kilometres travelled each year on a road network almost 6,000 miles in length.”

Source: Gilles Savary writing in European Voice

“Motorists waste up to 26 minutes for every 10 miles they travel on England’s trunk-road network according to figures from the Department of Transport, which compare actual journey times with those when traffic is flowing freely. Across all roads, traffic rose by 11 per cent to 312 billion vehicles miles a year between 1997 and 2005.”

Source: The Times