A report has revealed that single carriageway major A roads in England lack many of the safety features needed to protect drivers.
The Road Safety Foundation study analysed the country's motorways and major A roads as part of an international safety assessment.
The report graded roads from one to four stars after inspecting virtually all of the 7,000km (4349.5 miles) of motorways and major A roads in England.
Single carriageway roads were graded mostly with just two stars after the report found they lacked the features needed to protect drivers - with high-speed traffic separated by just a white line.
At the other end of the scale were dual carriageways, 75% of which were awarded three stars after being noted for their safety measures in head-on collisions.
The study was released as the Road Safety Foundation - the UK arm of the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP) - claimed road crashes cost the economy £18 billion a year.
Although the report gave just half of motorways four stars, it praised their safety measures for junctions and head-on collisions.
However, it added that many motorways did not protect users who ran off the road.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Simple engineering solutions offer extraordinary rates of return for every pound spent. The cost of accidents to the economy is enormous yet by spending its dwindling resources wisely the DfT could have a big impact on road casualty rates and get great value for money."
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