The UK ranks among the top 30 safest countries worldwide for driving per mile

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Over the past two decades, traffic collisions have tragically led to nearly 500 million fatalities worldwide. This alarming statistic averages close to 25 million deaths annually, translating to just over one death occurring per mile on the world’s roads and a distressing frequency of one fatality every 0.8 seconds.

Despite efforts to improve road safety, the global decrease in road-related deaths from 2000 to 2019 has been minimal, with only a slight decrease of -0.023%. Interestingly, while 2000 marked the worst year for road-related fatalities, 2018 stands out as the best, showcasing fluctuations in road safety outcomes over the years.

etyres conducted research on 180 countries worldwide to identify those with the highest and lowest rates of fatal crashes and provided safety tips for tyres to ensure maximum safety while driving.

UK ranks in the top 30 safest countries to drive in

UK road safety stats

On the global scale of road safety, the United Kingdom demonstrates a commendable performance, securing the 29th position among the safest countries for driving. The UK registers an average of 11 deaths per 1,000 miles, which, although notable, pales in comparison to countries like the United Arab Emirates, where the average stands at a staggering 473 deaths.

Annually, the UK records an average of 2,943 road-related fatal crashes, a figure that may seem elevated. However, it’s imperative to contextualise this within the expansive road network of the UK, totalling 258,832 miles. For instance, Grenada, positioned just above the UK in the rankings at 28th place, exhibits a significantly lower average annual death toll of 1,127. Despite this, Grenada’s road network spans merely 700 miles, resulting in a markedly higher average of one death per mile, slightly lower than that of the UK by 0.03. Consequently, the comparative analysis underscores the significantly greater safety of roads in the UK over Grenada.

Uganda found to be the most dangerous country to drive in, with 39 deaths per 50 miles

Uganda road safety stats

Uganda has emerged as the country with the most challenging driving conditions, exhibiting an alarming average of 39 deaths per 50 miles on its roadways, also translating to just over one death per hour.

The nation grapples with a staggering annual average of over 10,000 road-related fatalities, despite ongoing endeavours to enhance road infrastructure. Numerous factors, including limited financial resources and adverse weather patterns such as persistent rainfall leading to flooding, impede sustained improvements in road conditions contributing to car accidents.

According to a report, the capital city, Kampala, experiences significant repercussions attributable to its poor road network. The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) estimates an annual loss of nearly $800 million / £631 million due to vehicle maintenance expenses. Additionally, the city incurs daily losses of approximately $1.5 million / £1.2 million due to prolonged travel times and traffic congestion. Moreover, businesses suffer losses ranging from $100 to $200 million / £79 to £157 million annually, primarily attributed to property damage and disruptions caused by the inadequate road infrastructure.

Following closely behind, Haiti ranks as the second worst, with a similarly high average of 37 deaths per 50 miles. Rwanda rounds out the top three, with an average of 34 deaths per 50 miles over the last two decades.

Iceland boasts the safest roads in the world per mile

Road safety stats in Iceland

On the other end of the spectrum, Iceland emerges as a beacon of safety, boasting an exceptionally low average of just 23 deaths per 10,000 miles driven, which equates to just under 19 deaths per year.

One plausible explanation for Iceland’s notable safety record is its implementation of relatively low-speed limits compared to other European countries. For instance, the maximum speed permitted on motorways is restricted to 90 kph (56 mph). On gravel roads, the speed limit is capped at 80 kph (50 mph). In urban centres like Reykjavik and other populated areas, a general speed limit of 50 kph (31 mph) is enforced, further reduced to 30 kph (19 mph) in specific zones such as residential neighbourhoods.

Estonia follows closely behind, securing second place with a commendable average of 25 deaths per 10,000 miles over the same period. Australia takes third place with a marginally higher score of 27 deaths per 10,000 miles.

A deadly car crash happens every half an hour in China

China road safety stats

China has emerged at the forefront as the country grappling with the highest number of fatal road traffic accidents overall. Over the 20 years analysed, China has witnessed an alarming average of over 273,000 fatalities annually. This staggering figure translates into a grim daily toll of nearly 750 fatal crashes, resulting in 31 road-related deaths occurring every hour.

Following closely, India ranks as the second worst, with an average of just over 199,000 deaths per year, corresponding to approximately 545 fatalities daily or one every 23 minutes. Brazil secures the third position, recording 41,553 fatalities annually, equivalent to 4.7 deaths every hour.

Antigua and Barbuda overtake Iceland for the safest place overall with only 3 deaths per year on average

As previously mentioned, while Iceland boasts the safest roads globally per mile, several locations worldwide have had lower rates of road-related fatalities over the past two decades.

Antigua and Barbuda have recorded the lowest overall fatality rate, averaging just 3 fatalities per year. Additionally, Micronesia came next with an average of 4 road-related deaths per year, closely followed by Kiribati, which reports a slightly higher rate of 6 fatalities annually.

Africa is the most dangerous continent in the world, with an average of 13 deaths per 100 miles

Analysis of global statistics at a continental level highlights Africa as the most perilous continent to drive in. While its overall annual average road-related death count is comparatively lower than several other continents, such as East and Southeast Asia, and North America, Africa claims the top spot on the continent-wide leaderboard due to its significantly shorter average road network length, resulting in 13 deaths per 100 miles.

Following Africa, Central America and the Caribbean rank second, with the Middle East rounding off the top three. Similar to the situation in Africa, the relatively shorter road networks in these regions contribute to elevating their traffic collision mortality rates despite their lower average annual road-related death tolls of 882 and 3,447, respectively. Central America and the Caribbean register 11 deaths per 100 miles, while the Middle East records 10.

Australia and Oceania rank as the safest continent to drive in with just 0.04 deaths per mile

Motorists in Australia and Oceania exhibit the highest level of road safety. The data reveals that this region boasts a remarkably low death per 1,000 miles rating of merely 3, following an average annual road-related death toll of only 239.

Interestingly, North America secures the second position despite its relatively high annual count of road traffic accident-related fatalities, surpassing 20,000 per year on average. However, owing to the vast expanse of its road network, spanning over 1.7 million miles, the mortality rate per 1,000 miles diminishes significantly to a mere 11.

Europe finishes in third place for safest continents, with the number of road-related deaths being substantially lower than North America at 1,369. However, due to the much smaller road network, spanning just 87,500 miles compared to North America’s 1.7 million, Europe’s roads result in 15 deaths per 1,000 miles.

Roads in Portugal declared the most hazardous in Europe with 19 fatalities per 100 miles

Portugal road safety stats

When considering Europe, Portugal emerges as the most perilous location for driving. Within this continent, Portugal exhibits the highest rate of road fatalities. Data reveals an average of 19 deaths per 100 miles annually, resulting in a total of 1,350 deaths per year in the westernmost nation of Europe.

In contrast, Albania closely follows Portugal, securing the second position with an average of 18 deaths per 100 miles annually. Despite narrowly avoiding the title of the most dangerous country in Europe, Albania’s statistics remain alarming, especially considering its significantly smaller road network spanning approximately 2,225 miles, which is nearly one-third of Portugal’s 6,971-mile road network.

Completing the top three is Bosnia and Herzegovina, where an average of 11 deaths per 100 miles occur on their roads annually. Although Bosnia and Herzegovina’s overall road-related fatalities surpass Albania’s, totalling 605 compared to 415, their road network extends twice the length, covering 5,356 miles.

The USA has 14 times the amount of road traffic accidents compared to the UK

Road safety USA

Despite ranking three positions higher than the UK for safety, occupying the 26th position, the United States of America exhibits a strikingly similar pattern of results.

The USA records an average of 14 times more road-related deaths per year (41,495) compared to the UK (2,943), yet it also significantly surpasses the UK in terms of population and geographical size. With a population exceeding 341 million, the USA dwarfs the UK’s approximate 68 million inhabitants. Moreover, the USA’s vast landmass is approximately 40 times larger than that of the UK, with a road network spanning 16 times more expansively.

This comparison underscores the notion that, despite the seemingly higher numbers attributed to the USA, its similarity to the UK in terms of road safety is notable, considering the substantial disparities in size and population between the two nations.

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