Survivors plead for hard shoulder as smart motorway deaths hit new high

Ana Borges was making her regular journey to work on the M1 when a tyre blew out on her Alfa Romeo Brera.

She looked for a safe place to stop, but this section near Kegworth, Leicestershire, was a smart motorway with no hard shoulder. Forced to keep going, the 43-year-old put on her hazard lights, pulled over to the left-hand lane and reduced her speed to about 10mph. Then she was hit from behind by a lorry.

Borges suffered life-changing injuries in the crash in April last year, but survived; other drivers have not been so lucky.

Analysis by The Sunday Times reveals that deaths on smart motorways have hit a record, with 24 in 2022, according to data from the national road accidents database.