Which Scottish roads are the most dangerous?
The number of casualties in road traffic accidents is reducing in Scotland year on year which is very welcome news. The Scottish Government confirmed the number of casualties in road accidents went down by 1% in 2016
However, these statistics also show that the number of deaths on Scottish roads has risen by 14% as well as increases on the number of those seriously injured.
More recently, the UK Government issued statistics which stated that 2017 was a record year for accidents UK wide with an increase of 4%. 2017 saw the highest number of accidents since 2011.
We have previously discussed the dangers of driving in various parts of Scotland including Aberdeen and the Highlands - but are these the most unsafe areas in Scotland to get behind the wheel of a car?
Research undertaken by RegTransfers has helped to create a map of the 50 most dangerous roads in the UK. By taking the number of accidents on the road and dividing it by the amount of traffic they have been able to come up with a number scale which helps to rate the dangers.
While most of these roads are located elsewhere in the UK there are three stretches of road which are considered the most hazardous in Scotland. These are:
• A71 with an Accident Rate of 1.82
• A82 with an Accident Rate of 1.9
• A7 with an Accident Rate of 2.25
(Accident rate = number of accidents per 1 million vehicle-miles driven)
It may be surprising that across all 50 roads ranked within the research, all but one of these are A classed roads. There are no motorway roads. This suggests that the busier roads that would usually come out at the top of these polls may not necessarily be the most treacherous. The interactive map including all 50 of the UK’s most dangerous roads can be found here.
So what do these three roads have in common?
All three roads connect to major cities within Scotland making them popular for the likes of commuters and creating an increased risk of an accident occurring during rush hour. These roads are also narrow and windy, which can be a precariouscombination in wet and wintry road conditions or if drivers are travelling too fast.
The A82 is slightly different, as the main artery from the west of the central belt to the north of Scotland, as well as passing a number of Lochs and other landmarks, the route has an increased volume of tourist traffic. These drivers are likely to be unfamiliar with the road which has a reputation for being narrow in places making the risk of an accident higher.
Further studies have also shown that the roads which rank the least safe in these studies tend to be the smaller roads that drivers feel more at ease on rather than busier motorways.
With winter weather, particularly in Scotland this time of year, there is an increase in the number of accidents as not everyone is experienced or prepared for the colder weather. For our top tips on how to prepare for a winter drive please see Winter is coming – Driving Safety Tips.