New Zealanders' safe driving skills are middling, according to OECD comparisons based on likelihoods of accidents and fatalities.

New Zealand police yesterday said they were horrified by the driving they witnessed on our roads, after catching more than 50 drivers on the wrong side of the road during a five-hour undercover photo-shoot.

The OECD, a Paris-based think-tank representing the world's richest economies, provides road accident statistics in its member countries.

According to a recent report, New Zealand had 8.6 deaths on its roads per 100,000 people, just more than the OECD average of 8.1.

That is one death for about every 11,000 people in New Zealand.

For injury-causing accidents, New Zealand had one for every 367 people in 2008.

The average for OECD countries was one for every 360 people.

These figures put New Zealand in the middle of the pack in terms of drivers' safety.

New Zealand, however, tied for worst with Greece and Poland for road fatalities of zero- to 14-year-olds per capita.

We had the second-worst - just after Slovenia - for 15- to 17-year-olds.

Meanwhile, the safest young drivers aged 18 to 24 were Japanese, while Britain had the safest drivers older than 65.

South Korea had the worst elderly road statistics, with a fatality rate more than three times worse than the OECD average and more than double the next-worst country.

Overall, the safest drivers ranked by fatalities were from the Netherlands, at just under half New Zealand's rate, while the most dangerous were Polish, at 14.7 deaths per 100,000.

Ranked by accidents causing injury, Mexico had the safest drivers and Turkey the most dangerous.

Statistics were not available for all OECD member countries. The OECD's latest statistics were from 2007 or 2008 depending on availability.

Key statistics
Road fatalities per 100,000:

Netherlands: 4.1
Britain: 4.3
Australia: 6.8
OECD average: 8.1
New Zealand: 8.6
United States: 12.3
Poland: 14.7

Road fatalities per 100,000 for zero- to 14-year-olds:

Iceland: 0
OECD average: 1.4
New Zealand, Greece and Poland: 2.6

Road fatalities per 100,000 for 65 and older:

Britain: 5
Sweden: 6.3
New Zealand: 9.3
OECD average: 11.3
Norway: 18.4
Korea: 37.1