M40 collision figures are revealed by police

The northbound carriage way of the M40 between junctions 11 and 12 taken on the bridge at Avon Dassett.
The northbound carriage way of the M40 between junctions 11 and 12 taken on the bridge at Avon Dassett.

Statistics released by Thames Valley Police show an average of 154 collisions on the M40 motorway between junctions 10 and 12 in each of the past five years.

In total there have been 772 collisions in the past five years, with 2010 recording the highest number with 169 collisions and 2013 the lowest with 133. The total so far for 2014, as of last week, was 43.

The number of crashes has decreased slightly each year since the 2010 peak.

The collisions have resulted in three fatalities, 17 serious injuries and 192 slight injuries and TVP spent an estimated 262 hours dealing with these incidents between May 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014. By far the largest number of incidents involve just one vehicle – a total of 390 – with the second most common incident involving two vehicles at 208.

There were just 33 three-vehicle collisions, 14 four-vehicle and just six collisions involving five or six vehicles.

The most recent fatality came on May 4 this year when a 61-year-old man was pronounced dead after a black Jaguar S-type left the southbound carriageway and overturned. On February 13 this year a lorry driver had to be taken to hospital by air ambulance after two lorries collided between junctions 11 and 12.

Insp Robert Jarrett said: “Thames Valley Police Roads Policing Department has the largest motorway commitment in the UK with 196 miles across the three counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. We are assisted in patrolling and dealing with incidents on these motorways by the Highways Agency Traffic Officers but unlike the Highways Agency, also patrol and respond to incidents on the hundreds of miles of ‘A’, ‘B’ and unclassified roads.

“Routine enforcement and targeted operations focusing on speed, seat belt, mobile phone and drink/drug driving offences are part of our core business on all roads including motorways.

“Research has shown that the police can have the greatest impact in terms of casualty reduction by focusing on these offences. That doesn’t mean we ignore everything else – far from it.”

The figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information request.