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Road accident statistics
Learn how safe Britain’s roads are.
- The total number of accidents on our roads has more than halved in the last 20 years, from 325,000 incidents in 1998 to 160,000 in 2018.
- The majority of incidents on our roads in 2018 were slight injuries (82%).
- The number of serious injuries on our roads is 15% lower than it was 10 years ago.
- There were 1,782 fatalities on our roads in 2018, 30% lower than in 2008.
- 44% of fatalities in 2018 involved car occupants.
Number of accidents
The total number of accidents on our roads has been steadily declining over the last 20 years, with the total number of incidents less than half what it was 20 years ago – 160,000 in 2018 compared to 325,000 in 1998. The vast majority of reported incidents in 2018 were slight injuries, with over 144,000 reported (82% of the total).
Take a look at the graphic and table below to see how the number of accidents on our roads has changed over the last 20 years.
|Year||Total number of severities|
Deaths and serious injuries
Despite the total number of road traffic incidents falling, the number of serious injuries has seen a small rise of 2% in the last few years. However, these figures are overall 15% lower than they were in 2008. And despite this recent small rise in serious injuries, the number of fatalities in 2018 (1,782) was 1% lower than it was 2017 and 30% lower than it was in 2008.
Who is most at risk?
Whether you take to the roads in your car, on two wheels or by foot, what is the most dangerous? Government statistics use a measurement of casualties per billion miles travelled to understand how dangerous each mode of transport is.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most dangerous modes of transport are on two wheels (motorcycles and bicycles) and on foot. These are known as the vulnerable road user groups, as casualties are much higher for these modes of transport than any other. The statistics reveal that casualties on a motorcycle (5,674 per billion miles) are 25 times more common than casualties in a car (225 per billion miles).
|Road user type||Casualty rate per billion passenger miles|
Fatalities by road user type
Despite cars having the least amount of casualties per billion miles travelled, car occupants accounted for 44% of road fatalities in 2018 (777). This is likely due to the fact cars account for 78% of the traffic on our roads. 25% of fatalities were pedestrians, 20% were motorcyclists and 6% were cyclists.
For further breakdown, see the graphic and table below.
|Road user type||Fatalities (number)||Fatalities (percentage)|
Which region is the most dangerous?
We looked at the total number of casualties for each region in England to see which areas have the most accidents.
The region with the most accidents in 2018 was London, with over 30,000 reported casualties, most likely due to the high population density. The North East had the fewest accidents, with just over 5,000 reported casualties in 2018. Explore the map or browse the table below to see how your region compares.
|Region||Number of casualties (2018)|
|Yorkshire and The Humberside||13,993|
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