Over the past 50 years the motorway network of the UK has significantly improved, bringing with it substantial improvements in safety standards. It is a commonly known fact that the UK is one of the safest places to drive in the world.
The UK benefits from one of the lowest road death rates in Europe, and is statistically safer than other developed countries such as the Netherlands, France, Germany, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The low death rate is partly due to a number of reasons. The past decade has seen a significant increase in the number of road safety campaigns across social media, television, radio and other media outlets. The ‘Think’ campaigns have highlighted issues such as drink driving, fatigue, importance of seat belts, as well as a huge host of other important safety measures. These campaigns have gone a long way to improve public awareness and help people to become more safety conscious when driving.
Safety improvements to automobiles themselves have also helped significantly reduce fatalities on the roads. Improved braking systems and better safety measures within the car themselves have led to a reduction in collisions and an increases in survival rates when accidents do occur.
Another major factor is the implementation of Armco crash barriers on large stretches of roads and motorways. Crash barriers have been built along nearly all major motorways and A roads. The barriers play a significant role in reducing the damage caused in accidents and ultimately the number of fatalities on UK roads.
Used as dividers between opposing carriageways of traffic, the barriers reduce and limit the effects of an accident should one occur. This form of segregation prevents automobiles from colliding with oncoming traffic and causing extreme levels of damage and fatality.
The barriers work to contain the impact of the accident, absorbing much of the energy and working towards directing the vehicle in the correct direction to avoid it entering a stream of traffic or even flipping over.
The barriers themselves are made from thick corrugated steel to help them absorb as much energy as possible helping them contain traffic. The barriers are a relatively cheap from of protection, and can often be quickly and easily installed.
The improvements in safety measures have resulted in the UK having one of the lowest death rates per 100,000 people. In data recently published by The Guardian, the UK has a death rate of only 5.4 people per 100,000. This figure is very low when compared to other European countries such as Belgium whose death rate of 10.2 is almost double that of the UK. When related to the rest of the world, the UK statistics look even more impressive, with countries such as Russia (25.2) and Egypt (41.6) suffer from some of the highest death rates.