Improvements in car safety have helped to cut the number of deaths
Improving the design of roads could cut deaths and serious injuries in traffic accidents by a third, a newly launched campaign group argues.
The Campaign for Safe Road Design says improving signs, lines and kerbs could see 10,000 fewer fatalities and serious injuries over the next 10 years.
The group says as a result, the UK could save £6bn a year.
The government said road safety had improved dramatically in recent years, but pledged to work with the group.
The group, which comprises road users as well as road safety and road design bodies, says in the last 10 years, 375,000 people have been killed or seriously injured in road crashes.
It calculated that as a consequence, the UK has lost 1.5% of its gross domestic product every year - more than the total spent on primary schools and twice the spending on GPs.
The campaign's chairman John Dawson said: "A safe road system means road users who obey traffic law, manufacturers who provide safe vehicles and authorities who provide safe roads.
"As the government prepares its road safety strategy beyond 2010, we must now, as other leading countries have done, turn our attention to the safety features built into our roads."
The campaigners are particularly calling for safer road design on roads outside major towns, where two-thirds of road deaths occur.
A Department for Transport spokesman said that road safety in the UK had improved "dramatically" in recent years - with road deaths in 2007 falling below 3,000 for the first time since records began in 1926.
He said the fall was due to a combination of investment in roads, improvements to vehicle safety, education and enforcement.
He added: "We are, of course, determined to do more and we will work with the campaign to investigate how further road improvements could help make our roads even safer."