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dangerous roads

UK roads can be a nightmare – as a tradesperson whose business relies on their van, we're sure you know what we mean.

Many businesses are built around vans, and all van drivers will no doubt understand the importance of safe driving. But tradespeople are also very busy and will often be rushing around to get to their next job, meaning they'll always be on the lookout for the fastest route.

However, some roads pose more of a danger than others and even the safest of van drivers often think twice before using them.

A new study from the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP) evaluated motorways and A roads outside of urban areas to find out which ones posed the highest overall risk to drivers.

The most dangerous road was found to be the A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton in the Peak District (named the Cat and Fiddle after the inn located at its summit). Popular with motorcyclists, the road is known for its many bends, which increase the likelihood of users being involved in serious and fatal accidents.

The list was decided based on the level of road safety improvement (or lack thereof) between 2010-2012 and 2013-2015. The roads were ranked on the frequency of accidents, their severity, and the cost of the accidents. The roads that the EuroRAP categorised as "persistently higher risk" were the ones that were very busy and where the rates of serious crashes were "little improved or worsening".

Similar routes that were judged to be dangerous were the A254 between Ramsgate and Margate, the A259 from Glyne Gap to Ore, and the A588 from Lancaster to the A585 junction outside Poulton-le-Fylde.

Previously, it was thought that the North and the Midlands had the most dangerous roads, but this new research has suggested that, despite the most dangerous road still being located in the North West, the South East of England is now the riskiest place in England to drive, featuring six of the ten most dangerous carriageways. South Glamorgan was considered the most dangerous county to travel in, with the highest cost of crashes totalling at £105 million in 2010-2012 and £115 million in 2013-2015.

It's not all bad news, however, The report also shone a light on the roads that showed the most improvement within the same time period. These included the A4151 in Gloucestershire from Nailbridge to the junction with the A48 as well as the M25, which had an impressive 73 per cent improvement from 2010-12 to 2013-15.

There are other roads that van drivers would rather steer clear of, as highlighted by a similar survey by Leasevan.co.uk, which found that most drivers wished to avoid the Snake Pass road in the Derbyshire area of the Peak District, which is known as an accident blackspot. The A285 from Chichester to Petworth was another unpopular route (and has been previously named Britain's most dangerous road by the Road Safety Foundation).

A spokesperson from Leasevan said, "Tradesmen don't have a lot of time to spare when they're on the road, but it seems there are some routes they really do dislike having to travel. Sometimes it makes sense to avoid a road if there’s an alternative route that has less traffic or fewer hazards. At the same time, speed is a common factor in road accidents, so driving carefully and not too fast mitigates a lot of the dangers".

Road accidents are a big problem in the UK, costing the country £36 billion each year – that accounts for 1.2 per cent of the UK's GDP. This means that road accidents cost the economy more than GP services and primary schools combined! It's such a big problem that the UK government has allocated £175 million to the Safer Roads Fund to carry out road safety engineering treatments on the most dangerous roads.

Accidents can be particularly problematic for van drivers because their livelihood is often dependent on their vehicle. Collisions can have severe consequences for them and their business, causing massive disruption.

Of course, whether the statistics say you're on the most dangerous road in the country or the safest, good driving will help ensure you won't be involved in an accident.

And in case you are ever involved in an accident, being equipped with quality any driver van insurance from iVan should help ensure that the disruption to your business will be minimal.