More than 40% of all motorway and major A road lane closures in England in 2014 were caused by vehicle breakdowns, while 6,742 were due to shed tyres, according the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
In total there were 443,590 lane closures on motorways and primary A roads in England last year for 44 defined reasons by Highways England. Some of the major findings of the report revealed closures for the following reasons:
12,759 – pedestrians walking on a motorway live lane or active A road (three per cent of all incidences)
122 – unsupervised children
7,446 – ‘non-legal’ use of the hard shoulder (two per cent of recorded incidences)
3,990 – animals loose on the network
2,598 – abandoned vehicles
6,288 – injury collisions
29,656 – non-injury collisions also caused lane closures
567 – cases of a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road causing roads to be closed
152 – objects being thrown onto the roads
Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “There are many worrying things that emerge from this information. Firstly, people are putting their own lives at risk and those of others by not maintaining their vehicles properly to the point they break down on our busiest roads.
“While we appreciate that a few breakdowns are unavoidable, such as a tyre blow out, the vast majority can be avoided or dealt with before taking a vehicle onto a key route.
“It also shows people do not treat our key economic arteries with the respect they deserve. Pedestrians, unsupervised children and objects thrown on the road should never be happening. It is clear an education and awareness campaign starting at school age is badly needed.”
Making sure tyres are properly maintained and are always safe and legal should be a priority for all motorists to help avoid accidents and putting road users lives at risk.