Accident-prone: the stats for UK road traffic accidents

You’d be mistaken for thinking road traffic accidents only happen to a certain type of driver. In fact, any road user of any age driving any vehicle anywhere in the country could cause a collision. Which is exactly why we pay car insurance in the first place.

However, some areas, drivers and manufacturers are more error-prone than others. Let’s crunch the numbers.


Let’s start by eschewing the age myth. Though constantly driving with the reputation for causing havoc on UK roads, it’s not 16-25-year-old drivers involved in the most accidents but 26-35-year-olds. The lower age range account for 20.50% of all accidents while the 26-35 age range are involved in 23.94%. It’s true that we drive safer in our tender years, too, with over-75s involved in just 4.14% of road traffic accidents, albeit aided by a lesser amount on the roads in the first place.

Mostly on the motorway, right?

You might think most accidents occur on the motorway, but you’d be wrong. Remarkably, more than 79,000 accidents occurred on roads with a 30mph limit. Compare that to motorways with a 70mph limit and the number is just 8,156.

This means you are almost 10 times more likely to have an accident on a 30mph limit road than you are on the motorway.

We don’t need roads

Take a quick guess of the road where most accidents happen. A1? A6? Nope, it’s actually the A4 which spans from Avonmouth near Bristol, through Bath, through Reading and into Central London. The most recent stats show that in 2016, 705 accidents took place here. The A23 was a close second with 668 accidents and the A38 took third with 656. Other accident-prone roads include the A1, M25, A6, A3, A5 and A40.

Are Londoners more accident-prone?

Well, yes. Stats tell us that for every 10,000 cars on the road, 101 accidents occur in London. In comparison, there are just 29 accidents that happen per 10,000 cars in Scotland. In fact, the second-highest region in the UK is Yorkshire and The Humber, but it’s still a long way behind London at 47 accidents per 10,000 .

Where in London?

Broken down, it’s the City of London itself where most accidents happen, accounting for around 1200 accidents per 10,000 cars. Westminster, Tower Hamlets and Islington were next on the list. Harrow and Bexley were the safest boroughs.

What about the vehicle?

It’s stereotypes galore when people are asked about collision-causing drivers. Getting much of the slack are Toyota Prius and BMW drivers, who are often reported as being the cause of many accidents and near-misses. But is there any truth in this?

Well, the data shows that there is. For every 10,000 Toyota Priuses (or Prii?) on the road, 111 of them are involved in accidents. Likewise, 102 in every 10,000 BMW 330Ds and 85 in every 10,000 BMW 530Ds get involved in accidents, too.

The older Citroen Saxo accounted for 106 in every 10,000 and the Peugeot 106 84 in 10,000. As for manufacturers, Vauxhall, Daewoo, Seat, Mitsubishi and Renault had the highest amount of accidents per 10,000 of their cars on the road.


So, if you don’t want to be involved in an accident, we’d probably advise against driving a Toyota Prius along the A4 and into the City of London in a 30mph speed limit road as a 26-35-year-old, but it’s your choice.

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