Most accidents happen on slower roads

Most accidents happen on slow roads

More than two-thirds of accidents take place on roads with a speed limit of 30mph or less. That’s according to Department for Transport statistics.

Using figures from 2018, the research shows that 73,408 (60 percent) of accidents happened on roads with a limit of 21-30mph. Meanwhile, 10,661 (nine percent) took place on roads with a limit up to 20mph.

The data also shows that you’re less likely to have an accident on a motorway or derestricted road.

However, accidents on faster roads are more likely to be fatal. For example, while ‘just’ 12 percent of accidents take place on a road with a 51-60mph limit, they make up 32 percent of fatal accidents. There were 542 fatal accidents in 2018.

Given the above, it will come as no surprise that London has the highest proportion of road accidents, but the lowest rate of fatalities. The key figures from a regional perspective are accidents and fatalities per one million people.

In London, the figures are 2,881 and 12 respectively. At the opposite end of the scale – and indeed, the country – Scotland saw figures of 1,178 and 27.

The East Midlands has the highest rate of fatalities, with 37 fatal accidents per one million people. The South West (31), Wales (30) and Yorkshire and the Humber (30) saw similarly high rates of fatalities.

  • Region of the country
  • London
  • South East
  • Yorks/Humber
  • East of England
  • East Midlands
  • South West
  • North West
  • West Midlands
  • North East
  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • All accidents in the region
  • 25,662
  • 19,164
  • 10,526
  • 11,762
  • 8,603
  • 9,792
  • 12,701
  • 9,907
  • 3,899
  • 4,214
  • 6,405
  • Accidents per 1m people
  • 2,881
  • 2,098
  • 1,921
  • 1,897
  • 1,791
  • 1,749
  • 1,742
  • 1,679
  • 1,467
  • 1,343
  • 1,178
  • Fatal accidents in the region
  • 109
  • 237
  • 165
  • 163
  • 179
  • 172
  • 184
  • 167
  • 51
  • 95
  • 149
  • Fatal accidents per 1m people
  • 12
  • 26
  • 30
  • 26
  • 37
  • 31
  • 25
  • 28
  • 19
  • 30
  • 27

Rural roads remain the most dangerous

Accident on rural road

The research commissioned by Choose My Car shows that you should take extra care at T junctions or staggered junctions. Nearly 36,000 accidents took place on these junctions in 2018 – that’s nearly two-thirds (29 percent) of all accidents and 19 percent of fatal incidents.

Combined, crossroads and roundabouts accounted for around 20,000 of all accidents.

Finally, although two-thirds (67 percent) of road accidents take place on urban roads, the majority of fatal accidents (62 percent) happen in rural areas. 

Rural roads are often narrower, derestricted, unlit and lacking the safety features seen in urban areas. Leave the road in the countryside and you’re likely to encounter a stone wall or tree.

See the full results of the Choose My Car research.

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