Self-driving vehicles could save NHS £2.3bn a year

Billions of pounds could be saved each year if self-driving legislation was introduced in the UK, according to AXA UK.

The firm claims that government data has shown road collisions cost the UK £43.2bn in 2022 with £2.3bn-worth a direct expense to the NHS for medical and ambulance costs. 

With 85% of all road crashes involving an element of human error according to the Department for Transport, self-driving technology could have a significant financial impact, it claims.

It follows the Law Commission making recommendations last year on a regulatory framework for self-driving following a three-year study, which the Government accepted. AXA UK now claims 75 recommendations now need to be adopted into legislation as a priority.

According to AXA the self-driving industry could be worth £42bn to the UK economy by 2035 and create 50,000 jobs.

David Ovenden, AXA UK Chief Underwriting Officer, said: “The Government has a self-driving bill waiting in the wings that is likely to win cross-party support. We’re calling on the Prime Minister to prioritise road safety on 7 November and include the bill in the King’s Speech.

“The potential savings, coupled with improved safety on our roads, make self driving the most exciting transport innovation since the invention of the modern motor car. As a leading motor insurer, road safety is incredibly important to us and we urgently need legislation so we can define liability and plan for the future.”

“If the Government doesn’t act swiftly, the UK risks being left behind and investment will go elsewhere. As an insurer, we need to know where liability lies so we can assess the risk and provide cover for these vehicles.”

Ross Moorlock, interim CEO at Brake, the road safety charity, added: “It’s important that we ensure the future of driving has safety at its core. Currently five people die on British roads every day and many more receive life-changing injuries.

“Road death is traumatic and has a lasting effect on families and communities. And if we can make this new era of transport safer, then we can work towards a world where everyone is safe on roads.”

Image from Shutterstock

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