High fuel prices have helped to save up to 140 lives this year because motorists slowed down and drove less aggressively to save money, according to a new survey.
Department for Transport figures show that road deaths fell by 20% in April, May and June this year, the biggest drop in any three-month period for 20 years. There were 580 deaths compared with 721 in the same period last year.
Traffic fell by 1% over the period, indicating that only a small proportion of the decline in fatalities was due to people driving fewer miles.
Research by the AA showed that 22% of its members said they had slowed down to save fuel and 42% claimed they accelerated more gently and avoided sharp braking.
AA president Edmund King said: 'These actions could have contributed to a reduction in deaths.'