Where are Europe's most dangerous roads? Hazards high on La Rioja and Cheshire routes

 
Billy Ehrenberg
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Red shading highlights Europe's danger roads

It is a Spanish region famed for its red wine and beautiful landscapes - but its roads are three times as treacherous as the UK's most dangerous region, Cheshire.

La Rioja is home to the most hazardous roads on the continent, according to data from Eurostat. There were 19.2 injuries per 1,000 people in 2012, more than twice that of the next most dangerous region, Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa.

The median across the 313 regions for which Eurostat has data is much lower, at 2.7 per 1,000 per year.

In the UK, those living in Cheshire should be warned: theirs is the 18th-most-likely region for a person to be injured on the roads, and worst in the UK.

What the map shows is how much safer France and areas of Spain are compared to the UK's regions.

Green regions are below the median of 2.7 per cent. The darker red an area is, the more injuries per 1,000 people. The majority of the data is from 2012.

To scroll past this map on mobile, swipe down on the right-hand side of the visualisation.

We have to be careful when comparing regions, however. We can't take an average across areas because regions aren't based on population size: La Rioja, for example, is more likely to have a high rate of accidents because it has a small population (the third-least populous in Spain).

One big accident would have a greater effect on its score than it would in a more populous region.

It would be wrong to take an average where the 19.2 per 1,000 for la Rioja (with its c.321,000 residents) is weighted the same as Madrid's 2.8, when the latter is home to 6.4m people.

With that caveat in mind, here are the UK's ten most dangerous regions:

And its safest. Note that three of the top 11 are tied and above the median:

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