New research has revealed the top causes of road collisions in the UK.

Studying the last decade of official figures show driver error coming out on top.

The insight was carried out by Howden Insurance.

Behind the wheel

Analysing a decade of accident data from the Office for National Statistics, the company was searching to see the leading causes for road collisions in the UK.

It found that driver error is the leading cause of road collisions in the UK, with an average of 67.26% of accidents each year coming as a result.

When looking at UK regions, London had the highest percentage of driver error collisions, with 74.24% on average.

Taking second on the list is drivers needing to look correctly, with 37.81% of all collisions coming as a result of this.

Once again, London saw the highest percentages of collisions due to this factor, with an average of 46.78%.

Generally poor attitudes

Third place on the list goes to behaviour or experience as a cause, where 23.61% of collisions listed this as a cause.

The West Midlands saw the highest percentage of any region, with an average of 29.26% of collisions over the past decade listing this as a cause.

Injudicious action, meaning poor judgment, takes fourth on the list. On average, 21.86% of collisions listed this as a cause in the UK, and once again, the West Midlands saw the highest percentage of collisions with this as a cause, with 28.01%.

Drivers failing to judge another person’s path of speed takes 20.06%, and again, the West Midlands saw the highest percentage of collisions, listing this as a cause with 24.16%.


Crashing the data

Rank Cause Percentage of all collisions (2013 – 2022 average)
1 Driver/Rider error or reaction 67.26%
2 Driver/Rider failed to look properly 37.81%
3 Behaviour or inexperience 23.61%
4 Injudicious action 21.86%
5 Driver/Rider failed to judge other person`s path or speed 20.06%
6 Driver/Rider careless, reckless or in a hurry 16.38%
7 Impairment or distraction 15.22%
8 Road environment contributed 12.89%
9 Poor turn or manoeuvre 12.74%
10 Loss of control 12.50%


 Human error

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for Howden Insurance said: “This data shows that the top causes of road accidents in the UK vary a lot, but in most cases, they are due to human error. It’s interesting to see just how many more collisions happen due to human error compared to any other cause, showing that you can always be at risk from other drivers on the road and not just yourself, so it’s important to maintain a good insurance plan.”