Vital Car Accident Statistics All Drivers Should Know

Vital Car Accident Statistics All Drivers Should Know

In a given year, tens of thousands of people get involved in car accidents in the UK. This is a scary figure, but how likely is a car accident? 

Is there a particular car that is safer than another? What can you do to ensure you're as safe as possible in a car?  

Understanding these figures is crucial for your safety. Not only do they shed light on the causes and effects of accidents, but they also inform policies and instigate safety measures.   

Let's dive into the must-know car accident and road safety statistics in the UK and what you can do to stay safe on the road.  

What are the odds of being in a car accident in the UK? 

In 2022, 0.21% of the UK population were involved in a car accident. There were 143,326 injuries caused by car accidents in the UK, according to the 2022 Department for Transport Annual Report

Main causes of UK car accidents 

There are plenty of different causes of car accidents. However, three are more common than others:  

  • Speeding 
  • Drunk driving  
  • Human error 

How many car accidents are fatal? 

Fortunately, of the 143,326 injuries, only 1,766 car accident casualties were fatal. This means your chances of dying in a car accident on your daily drive are extremely low, far less than 1%.

What are the odds of dying in a car accident without a seatbelt? 

Soberingly, 21% of car accident deaths occur in cars where the driver or passenger isn’t wearing a seatbelt. Please, always wear your seatbelt.  

Fortunately, seat belt usage is increasing. Gov UK found that 94.6% and 91.5% of all front and rear seat passengers wore seatbelts.

How many alcohol-related car crashes are there? 

Alcohol has and likely always will be one of the leading causes of car accidents.   

According to the official UK Government data, around 5% of all car accidents involve at least one driver or passenger over the legal alcohol limit.  

Although the number of fatal car accidents in Great Britain is low, of those, in 2020, between 200 and 240 people were killed, and at least one driver was over the legal alcohol limit.

Are car accidents more likely in winter? 

Summer is known to be the most likely season for car accidents, but it’s not down to weather or poor driving conditions. Instead, it’s because far more people are out on the road.  

More people driving equals more crashes, which is the same reason why fatal car accidents went down by more than 17% during the pandemic in 2020. 

Does speeding increase the likelihood of a crash? 

Speeding is the number one cause of car accidents worldwide. When you’re speeding, you decrease your reaction time as well as increase the stopping distance, so the likelihood of an accident sharply increases. Put simply, it’s a lot more difficult to avoid an obstacle if you are over the speed limit.  

Always obey speed limits, they are there for yours and everyone else’s safety.   

Who is statistically more likely to be in a car crash? 

Statistics show that there are different factors at play when it comes to who is most likely to be involved in a car accident. Here’s a quick breakdown of the main ones: 

What age group is most likely to be involved in a crash in the UK? 

Young male drivers under 25 are four times more likely to be involved in a car accident than drivers aged 25 or over.  

Worryingly, young car drivers account for a quarter of drivers killed in reported drink-driving accidents despite only representing 7% of drivers in the UK

Are men or women more likely to crash? 

Men are more likely to experience a casualty from driving, with 62% of all car-related injuries being male. Sadly, 78% of all car fatalities are male, according to the Department For Transport 2021 report

Which make of car has the most accidents? 

Did you know that the Toyota Prius is the most accident-prone car in the UK, with 1,207 crashes for every 100,000 Toyota Priuses on the road? [8] 

What car has the least accidents? 

If you’re looking for a safe vehicle, then you might want to consider an Audi. Audis account for the least number of accidents in the UK per 10,000 cars, according to the Department for Transport report

Which is more dangerous - motorbikes or cars? 

Sadly, a motorcyclist is 45 times more likely to be killed in an accident than a car driver. Motorbikes are inherently more dangerous than cars on the road. So, if you’re thinking about driving a bike, think twice. 

What’s the most dangerous car colour? 

Research from carVertical showed that brown cars were the likeliest to have been in an accident, with 51% of vehicles on their platform having been involved in one. Oddly, yellow was the second riskiest colour, with 50.6%, and red came in third with 49.8%.  

Conversely, the safest car colours are white and grey, with only 44% of them having been involved in an accident. 

Car crash fatalities by road user 

A 2022 Gov UK report found that car crashes affected four main groups: pedestrians, car occupants, pedal cyclists, and motorcyclists. Here's how the data breaks down:

  • Car Occupant - 46%
  • Pedestrian - 22%
  • Motorcyclist - 21% 
  • Pedal Cyclist - 5%

Motorcycle accidents in the UK 

Motorcycle accidents have decreased 40% from 2004 to 2022, and serious injuries have decreased by 30%.  

However, from 2018 to 2022, an average of 104 motorcyclists were seriously injured, and six died per week. Nearly half of the fatalities were in 2 vehicle collisions between the motorbike and a car. 

The most common reason for motorcycle accidents in the UK is the driver or rider failing to look properly. So, when driving, always look once, look twice, and think bike. 

International car accident statistics 

Curious about car accidents outside the UK? Here are some international car crash statistics from the World Health Organization’s Road Traffic Injuries fact sheet.

1.19 million people die every year from car crashes 

1.19 million people worldwide are killed by car accidents, and a further 20 to 50 million are affected by non-fatal injuries and disabilities).  

92% of car crashes happen in low- and middle-income countries 

Middle- and low-income countries see the majority of car accidents, even though they only have around 60% of the world’s vehicles.  

Car crashes cost countries 3% of their GDP 

Yes, you read that right. Car crashes and accidents cause so much damage that they cost each country approximately 3% of its gross domestic product (GDP).  

Crash injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults 

Across the world, car crashes are the main cause of death for children and young adults between the years of 5 to 29.  

The United Nations General Assembly has set a target to half crash injuries by 2023 

In June 2022, the General Assembly set a target to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50% by 2023

Are ride-sharing apps more likely to cause accidents? 

With the rise of ride-sharing apps (e.g. Uber and Bolt), more of us are using taxis than ever before. But has this increase in usage caused more accidents? 

No! A Study from the University of Oxford found that Uber is connected with a 9% decline in UK road accidents.

How to stay safe on the road 

Regardless of your age or what car you happen to be driving, the number one factor that influences the likelihood of an accident is your own behaviour behind the wheel.  

So, after reading the UK car crash statistics, let’s look at how you can protect yourself on the road.  

The top five tips for how to stay safe. 

  1. Distracted driving. It can have deadly consequences, whether due to texting, eating, or fiddling with the radio. Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times, even more so in the dark or impaired weather conditions.  
  2. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal, it's incredibly dangerous. It impairs your driving ability and dramatically increases your risk of an accident. Always have a designated driver or use a taxi if you've been drinking or using drugs.  
  3. Wearing seat belts is non-negotiable. They save lives by preventing occupants from being ejected during a crash or impacting the vehicle's interior.  
  4. Observe speed limits. Speed limits are there for a reason. Speeding reduces your control over the vehicle and reaction time to unexpected situations.  
  5. Road Signs. Don't forget the importance of indicators and understanding road signs. They communicate your intentions to other drivers and help you navigate the roads safely.  

UK Car Accident Statistics - Final Thoughts 

After reading all these car accident statistics, we hope you feel assured that the chances of a serious car accident are extremely low. However, if you find yourself in a car accident and need car repairs, you might want to consider Bumper. 

With Bumper, you can spread the cost of any repairs at no extra cost. Apply for a credit limit and find a reliable service partner today. 

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