The condition of UK roads is putting lives at risk - the shocking statistics in full

The condition of UK roads are putting lives at risk - the shocking statistics in full
(Photo: Shutterstock)
The condition of UK roads are putting lives at risk - the shocking statistics in full (Photo: Shutterstock)

Poor or defective roads were a contributing factor in over 500 reported road accidents in the UK.

That’s according to analysis by of the latest figures from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Common causes of accidents

Statistics from the DfT’s Reported Road Casualties Great Britain Annual Report 2019 revealed some of the most common causes of accidents where the road environment was a factor to blame.


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The causes included a deposit on a road, such as oil, mud or chippings. This was a contributory factor in 842 reported accidents in 2019.

Meanwhile, inadequate or masked signs or road markings were a contributory factor in 351 reported accidents in Great Britain.

However, by far the biggest cause of accidents were slippery roads due to inclement weather, which was a contributory factor in more than 5,500 reported accidents.

Dan Jones, operations manager at, said, “While there has been a slight drop in recent years in these types of accidents, it is still not enough, especially when you consider that other independent research shows that the number of potholes being repaired in England and Wales has fallen.


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“Slippery roads cause on average more than 15 accidents a day, so we would urge all car drivers and motorcyclists to take extra care as we enter autumn and winter, normally the wettest months of the year.”

One in five roads now structurally poor

Research by the Asphalt Industry Alliance found that the average local authority highway maintenance funding is now 20 per cent less in real terms than in 2010, with one in five local roads now classed as structurally poor.

The AIA’s 2020 Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey highlighted that it would take 11 years and cost £11.14 billion to bring the local road network up to a position from which it could be maintained cost-effectively going forward.


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AIA Chair Rick Green said, “Properly funding local authorities to carry out cost-effective, planned, preventative maintenance programmes would reduce future costs of more extensive repairs or replacement as well as encouraging cycling, cutting congestion and improving air quality.”