Car accident statistics


Car accident statistics reveal that travelling by road accounts for nearly 97%  of all transport fatalities. In 2009 this meant there were just fewer than 231,000 road casualties in Great Britain.

However the true number of injuries is often greater than the statistics reveal, as not all incidents are reported to the police. Last year, 170,591 road accidents involving personal injury were reported to the police. Of those, 10,711 people were seriously injured and 1,257 killed.*

Car accident causes

Statistics on car accidents show a broad range of underlying contributory causes. These statistics reveal that the most frequently reported contributory factor was driver/rider error or reaction - involved in 68% of all car accidents.

Statistics show that following closely behind was the category of injudicious action, including:

  • Travelling too fast for the conditions
  • Following too close
  • Exceeding the speed limit

This was reported in 25% of all accidents. Failing to look properly was another frequently reported contributory factor and was involved in 35% of all car accidents. Statistics show that this was then followed by:

  • A failure to judge the other person’s path or speed (19%)
  • Being careless, reckless or in a hurry (17%)

Other common contributory factors include:

  • The road environment
  • A vehicle defect
  • The driver’s behaviour or inexperience, and
  • Poor vision

What to do at the scene of the accident

If you are involved in a car accident and someone is injured, whether it is you, the other driver, a pedestrian or another road user, you are legally obligated to stop at the scene of the accident. If you do not, you could be charged by the police.

If someone is injured you must also report the accident to the police. Again, failing to do so could see you charged by the police. You can report the accident by calling a police officer to the scene, or, if this is not possible or practicable, by attending a police station in person. The report should be made as soon as practicable and must be made within 24 hours.

If any personal injury is caused to another person, the driver must also produce a valid insurance certificate if asked to do so by a police officer, injured person, or anyone else directly or indirectly involved in the accident.

Making a compensation claim

Statistics on car accidents are fascinating as they reveal the interacting multiple factors that cause car accidents. This can make proving fault difficult. Fault may sometimes be very obvious; however, very often it is not possible to say that one party to a car accident was completely innocent.

Contributory negligence is an important consideration, and may result in a claim for compensation for property damage or personal injury being either reduced proportionately, or lost.

A person injured in a car accident may be able to seek compensation for his or her injuries. This may be done through insurance, or a person can make a claim through the courts. It’s a complicated process, and if you have been involved at any stage then speaking to a solicitor is a wise option.

*All statistics taken from the Department for Transport

Have more unanswered questions? See our FAQ page on car accidents.

Have you been involved in a car or road accident, resulting in a personal injury? Contact Law can recommend specialist personal injury lawyers who deal in car accident claims and can assist you in gaining compensation for your injury. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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