The Most Common Causes of the UK's Road Traffic Accidents

There were more than 93,000 road traffic accidents in the UK last year which were attended by one or more police officers. This works out at more than 250 each and every day.

While some of these were no fault of the drivers involved, many would likely have been completely avoidable.

With this in mind, we’ve delved into official data to reveal the most common causes of road accidents in the UK.

What are the most common causes of accidents in the UK?

Chart View Table View
Bubble graph-text and shape Driver/Rider failed to look properly 39% Poor turn or manoeuvre 13% Loss of control 12% Pedestrian failed to look properly 8% Slippery road (due to weather) 8% Sudden braking 6% Travelling too fast for conditions 6% Following too close 5% Exceeding speed limit 5% Learner or inexperienced driver/rider 4% Aggressive driving 4% Road layout (eg bend, hill, narrow road) 3% Pedestrian careless, reckless or in a hurry 3% Other 3% Distraction in vehicle 3% Stationary or parked vehicle(s) 3% Swerved 3% Failed to signal or misleading signal 2% Disobeyed automatic traffic signal 2% Dazzling sun 2% Junction ov e r sho o t 2% Pedestrian failed to judge vehicle’s path or speed 2% Rain, sleet, snow, or fog 2% Crossing road masked by stationary or parked vehicle 2% Driver/Rider nervous, uncertain or panic 2% Disobeyed 'Give Way' or 'Stop' sign or markings 2% Pedestrian wearing dark clothing at night 1% Animal or object in carriageway 1% Road layout (eg bend, winding road, hill crest) 1% Illegal turn or direction of travel 1% Pedestrian impaired by alcohol 1% Distraction outside vehicle 1% Unfamiliar with model of vehicle 1% Poor or defective road surface 1% Stolen vehicle 1% Vehicle in course of crime 1% Cyclist entering road from pavement 1% Junction restart (moving off at (junction) 1% Driver/Rider impaired by drugs (illicit or medicinal) 1% Defective brakes 1% Pedestrian disability or illness, mental or physical 1% Dangerous action in carriageway (eg playing) 1% Too close to cyclist, horse rider or pedestrian 1% Tyres illegal, defective or under-inflated 1% Pedestrian wrong use of pedestrian crossing facility 1% Vehicle blind spot 1% Pedestrian impaired by drugs (illicit or medicinal) 0% Overloaded or poorly loaded vehicle or trailer 0% Defective or missing mirrors 0% Not displaying lights at night or in poor visibility 0% Slippery inspection cover or road marking 0% Disobeyed double white lines 0% Defective traffic signals 0% Driver using mobie phone 0% Inadequate or masked signs or road markings 0% Dazzling headlights 0% Traffic calming (eg road humps, chicane) 0% Disobeyed pedestrian crossing facility 0% Emergency vehicle on a call 0% Defective lights or indicators 0% Driving too slow for conditions or slow vehicle (eg tractor) 0% Inexperience of driving on the left 0% Temporary road layout (eg contraflow) 0% Buildings, road signs, street furniture 0% Visor or windscreen dirty, scratched or frosted etc. 0% Vehicle travelling along pavement 0% Spray from other vehicles 0% Rider wearing dark clothing 0% Uncorrected, defective eyesight 0% Defective steering or suspension 0% Vehicle door opened or closed negigently 0% Vegtation 0% Driver/Rider failed to judge other person’s path or speed 20% Driver/Rider careless, reckless or in a hurry 15% Driver/Rider impaired by alcohol 5% Driver/Rider illness or disability, mental or physical 2% F a tigue 2% Deposit on road (eg oil, mud, chippings) 1%

If you or anyone close to you has been involved in a car accident, RoadPeace is a national charity providing information and support, as well as campaigning to reduce road danger. You can find support by visiting www.roadpeace.org or calling them on 0845 4500 355.