UK roads recorded the lowest death rates in 2009 out of 33 surveyed countries in a report on road fatalities published by the International Transport Forum (ITF).

Measured by road deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, the figures show that the UK did best last year with 3.8, followed by Sweden and the Netherlands, both at 3.9, and Israel with 4.2.

Malaysia, Argentina and Greece have reported the highest traffic death rates according to this measure.

The study notes the first ten years of the 21st Century as a record decade for road safety, with Spain, Portugal and France topping the list for the most pronounced reduction in road fatalities during that period.

The report has revealed that motorcycle accidents in the UK are down 23%, despite a 45% increase in the number of motorcycles on the road.

Motorcycle deaths, however, increased in 13 of 29 countries covered by ITF’s International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group.

The data reveals the risk of dying in a road accident is smallest in Sweden, the UK and Switzerland and highest in Korea, the Czech Republic and Malaysia, measured by road fatalities per billion kilometres driven.