ROAD accidents in Hampshire cost the local economy more than £226m in a single year, new research has found.

A total of 3,056 incidents were recorded on roads maintained by Hampshire County Council in 2016.

This included 34 fatalities, resulting in an average of £1.8m for each death on the county’s roads.

Another 607 accidents were categorised as ‘serious’ with 2,415 labelled ‘slight’. This cost an average of £206,912 and £15,951 per incident respectively.

In total, Hampshire’s economy lost £226.7m. This does not include incidents on motorways and major A-roads, which are operated by Highways England.

A council report said: “A vast amount of personal pain, grief and suffering is not only felt by those directly involved in a road traffic accident but also by their friends and families.

“While no cost can truly reflect these human aspects of such incidents, the financial burden of road traffic collisions on society as a whole is substantial. Injury collisions that occur on the road network that Hampshire County Council maintains costs the wider economy millions of pounds annually.”

A spokesperson for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “These figures highlight the huge financial impact road crashes have on local economies.

“Every road crash that leads to death and serious injury puts a large burden on the local NHS, emergency services and economy, not to mention the devastation they cause to families and communities.

“Yet every death and injury on our roads is a needless, preventable tragedy.”

The county council also spends more than £2m on protecting the roads. This includes £1.5m on identifying and proofing accident hotspots, and a further £650,000 on road safety education and prevention.

The council statement added: “Casualty reduction funding is used to treat identified contributing factors in injury collisions to reduce the likelihood of similar collisions reoccurring, and is prioritised to locations with higher numbers of collisions, typically assessed over a five year period.

“Casualty data is collected and provided to the county council by the police with detailed analysis undertaken by the council’s specialist safety engineers to accurately identify clusters of collisions as well as common patterns, trends and contributory factors. Officers also work with the police to remove incidents attributed to medical episodes and similar issues not treatable through highway engineering measures.

“Casualty prevention programmes seek to provide high risk groups with specific training to reduce their chances of being involved. This includes road safety education, and working in partnership with the Police to help raise awareness of issues such as drink driving.”

, distraction and mobile phone use, and improving skills through driver training and Bikeability training.”