The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

News: Safe Swiss, bonkers Belgians, perilous Poles

Drivers are twice as likely to be killed on French roads as on British ones, and Belgian highways are almost three times more dangerous, research has found.


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DRIVERS ARE twice as likely to be killed on French roads as on British ones, and Belgian highways are almost three times more dangerous, research has found. The study compared road deaths in 22 countries in 2012 and concluded that Britain’s roads are the second-safest in Europe, with 2.1 car occupants killed per billion miles (pbm) driven. The figure for Switzerland — the safest country — is 2.0.

France has a death rate of 4.4 occupants pbm; Belgium languishes near the bottom of the table with 5.9 deaths; the most dangerous roads are in Poland, with 11.5 deaths pbm.

Researchers from the European Transport Safety Council put Britain’s performance down partly to a high proportion of drivers and rear passengers buckling up — 95% and 89% respectively.

Deaths due to drink driving are also decreasing slowly. In 2010 in Britain 250 road deaths were attributed to alcohol. The figure for France was 1,230.

The report praised the role of speed cameras in Britain and recommended the uptake of in-car systems that display the relevant speed limit at all times.