The Most Dangerous Roads in the UK

by ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

A car accident can occur anywhere, which is why it’s always important to follow the rules of the road, but there are definitely some roads where you’re more likely to have a collision than others.

The Most Dangerous Roads in the UK
  • London has the highest proportion of road accidents, but the lowest rate of fatal ones.

  • While two-thirds of accidents take place on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less, a third of fatal accidents take place on those with a 51-60 mph speed limit.

  • While most accidents take place on urban roads, most fatal ones occur on rural roads.

  • T or staggered junctions are the most dangerous in the UK, accounting for almost a quarter of accidents.

A car accident can occur anywhere, which is why it’s always important to follow the rules of the road, but there are definitely some roads where you’re more likely to have a collision than others.

Factors such as whether you’re on a country road or in a town or city, the speed limit and different types of junctions can all have an impact on how likely you are to be involved in an accident.

Using the Department for Transport statistics, we’ve revealed the types of roads that are the UK’s most dangerous.

The Regions with the Most Road Accidents

Drivers in London are the most likely to be involved in an accident, with 25,662 reported collisions in the capital in the space of a year, which works out at 2,881 for every million people, more than any other region. 

On the other hand, drivers in Scotland were the safest, with just 1,178 accidents per million people, which is more than half as many as in London.

However, when it comes to the most serious of accidents, London actually has the lowest proportion, with just 12 per million residents, while the East Midlands had the most, with 37.

The Speed Limit Which Result in Most Accidents

While you might expect more accidents to take place at higher speeds, two-thirds of accidents actually occur on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less, with the vast majority (60%) of these coming on roads with a speed limit of between 21 and 30 mph.

However, the data does show that accidents at higher speeds are more likely to be fatal. For example, while 12% of total accidents take place on 51-60 mph roads, the percentage of fatal accidents on these roads is much higher, at 32%, showing how dangerous a crash at high speed can be.

Are There More Accidents on Rural or Urban Roads?

The majority of accidents take place on urban roads in towns and cities, where there are obviously more vehicles coming into contact with each other and therefore more likely to be involved in a collision, with two-thirds of accidents taking place on an urban road.

However, the opposite is true when it comes to those accidents that are fatal, with the majority taking place on rural roads (62%).

This is due to a number of factors, usually because these roads have a higher average speed, with drivers often lulled into a false sense of security. Rural roads are often narrower and lack a lot of the safety features of those in towns and cities.

The Types of Road with the Most Accidents

Looking at the different road classification in the UK, we see that a very low number of accidents actually take place on our motorways, with just 3% of total accidents and 5% of fatal ones.

Instead, accidents are most likely to happen on A-roads, with 44% of total accidents and 56% of fatal accidents taking place on an A-road.

This is likely because these are primarily rural roads, which as we’ve seen, are more dangerous.

Looking at the specific type of road, we see that the vast majority (72%) take place on single carriageway roads, which is four and a half times more than any other type of road.

The Junctions with the Most Accidents

Many accidents take place at junctions, but which are the most dangerous? Over a quarter of road accidents take place at a T or staggered junction, which is more than three times as many as at any other type of junction.

And while many of us struggle with roundabouts, they only account for 8% of the UK’s road accidents.

Sources

ChooseMyCar's bad credit car finance specialists sourced the data from the Department for Transport’s Road Traffic Statistics tool based upon 2018 data.

Population estimates were taken from the Office for National Statistics’ Estimates of the Population for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (Mid-2018).

Author

ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

Model reviews, buying guides, service tips, and auto news - straight from our team of car experts.

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