The number of road accidents in the West Midlands has fallen by 40 per cent in the last 10 years, according to figures out today.

But accidents in the busiest areas of Britain – London and south-east England – have risen slightly, the statistics from Post Office Car Insurance showed.

Overall, the number of road accidents reported by police fell from just over 229,000 in 2001 to 151,474 in 2011.

The biggest decrease was in north-west England where the number fell 44 per cent, while the West Midlands saw a decrease of 40 per cent to 12,740.

But the number of accidents in London rose 1.3 per cent between 2001 and 2011, while the number increased 2.3 per cent in south-east England.

The figures also showed that London and south-east England accounted for 32 per cent of all accidents reported to police in 2011.

Wales accounted for just 4 per cent of all accidents last year, the same percentage as north-east England.

By road type, the number of accidents on motorways fell 36 per cent – from 9,128 in 2001 to 5,819 in 2011.

There were also sharp drops in the number of accidents on all A-roads (down 34 per cent) and on minor roads (also down 34 per cent).

Post Office Car Insurance head Paul Havenhand said: “It’s good to see the number of road accidents decreasing. However, this doesn’t mean drivers should become complacent on road safety.

“Measures to improve road surfaces, visibility on roads, car safety devices and performance have clearly had an impact, but drivers must take the necessary precautions at all times to ensure they are driving safely, especially in adverse weather conditions and on unfamiliar or more dangerous roads around the country.”