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Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 06:26 GMT 07:26 UK
Rural roads 'can be most deadly'
Car crash (generic)
Better signposts could save lives, the trust says
Rural main roads can be death traps when they run through villages, a study by the AA Motoring Trust suggests.

Drivers are five times more likely to have serious crashes on rural built-up stretches than on open-road sections of the same route, the research suggests.

The organisation says "simple" measures like better signposting, re-painting road markings and cutting grassy verges would help save many lives.

The trust analysed crash data from all of the UK's major roads.

A682 from J13 of the M65 to the A65 Long Preston in North Yorkshire
A54 Congleton to Buxton in Derbyshire
A61 Barnsley to Wakefield in Yorkshire
A82 Tyndrum to Tarbet in Stirlingshire, Scotland
A623 Baslow to Chapel-en-le-Frith. Derbyshire

In general, the researchers found motorways to be the safest type of road and single-carriageway routes to be the most dangerous.

The trust said some of the country's main roads are just as dangerous as they were five years ago.

AA Motoring Trust director Bert Morris said: "People continue to be killed and badly injured because simple, affordable measures that dramatically reduce risk are not being put in place."

A452 Sutton Coldfield to Brownhills in the West Midlands - 73% reduction in fatal and serious accidents
A523 Swinscoe to Macclesfield in Staffordshire - down by 65%
A5 Shrewsbury to Chirk, the A44 Worcester to Moreton-in-Marsh, and the A43 and M40 to Northampton - 50% reduction

He said it "would not be tolerated" if a similar system existed on the railways, in the air, or in the workplace.

He claimed simple measures like resurfacing roads would save around 50 deaths and prevent 300 serious injuries a year, saving more than 300 million.

The trust carried out its research as part of the European Road Assessment Programme.

Among the most improved roads, casualties have dropped by three-quarters thanks to measures encouraging drivers to adapt to the sudden change from open road to busier semi-urban layouts.

Other findings showed that one third of deaths and serious injuries on single and dual carriageways happen at junctions - while on motorways a fifth result from vehicles running off the road.

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