More than 9,000 miles of roads crisscross London, but not all roads are equally safe. Driving a mile in some boroughs is simply more dangerous than others. Which boroughs have the best and worst accident rates?
In order to explore the safety of roads by London borough, we gathered accident and traffic data from the Department for Transport (DfT) to determine accident rates per mile of driving. (See the Methodology section below for a detailed description of how we generated our results.)
Which Boroughs have the Best and Worst Motor Vehicle Accident Rates (per mile of driving)?
Motorists are least likely to have an accident driving a mile through Hillingdon, Kingston upon Thames and Havering, with 48, 51 and 65 accidents per 100 million miles driven, respectively.
At the other end of the spectrum, drivers in the boroughs of Hackney, Islington and City of London experience much higher accident rates over 300 per 100 million miles of driving, respectively.
You’re 8 times more likely to be in a motor vehicle accident driving a mile in City of London than in Hillingdon. Put another way, the odds of having an accident per mile driven are 5X higher in the most dangerous boroughs (Camden, Hackney, Islington and City of London) compared to the safest (Hillingdon, Kingston upon Thames, Havering and Enfield).
Motor Vehicle Accident Rates by London Borough
Number of accidents per 100 million miles driven on borough roads
London Boroughs Ranked by Lowest to Highest Rate of Motor Vehicle Accidents
|Rank (1 is best, 33 is worst)||London Borough||Vehicle Miles (million, per year)||Accidents (per year)||Accidents/100 Million Miles of Driving|
|2||Kingston upon Thames||567||288||51|
|7||Richmond upon Thames||491||438||89|
|16||Barking and Dagenham||382||516||135|
|22||Hammersmith and Fulham||319||646||203|
|25||Kensington and Chelsea||309||694||225|
|33||City of London||96||368||383|
Not all accidents are the same. While minor fender benders are certainly stressful and potentially costly to fix, the long-term repercussions are usually manageable. To find which boroughs are best and worst in terms of life-changing accidents, we also analysed data on accidents in which someone was killed or seriously injured (either in the car or as a pedestrian).
Odds of Death or Serious Injury Whilst Driving a Mile in Each Borough
Hillingdon again tops the safety charts, with 5 killed or seriously injured per 100 million miles of driving in the borough. Kingston upon Thames, Enfield, Barnet and Greenwhich all follow with 7 killed or seriously injured per 100 million miles of driving, respectively.
Westminster, Camden, Islington, Hackney and City of London are the least safe, with between 32 and 53 killed or seriously injured per 100 million miles driven on their roads.
You are at least 6 times more likely to be involved in an accident in which someone is killed or seriously injured for every mile you’re on the road in the five worst boroughs than in Hillingdon.
Risk of Death or Serious Injury for Every Mile You Drive
London Boroughs Ranked by Lowest to Highest Rate of Killed or Seriously Injured in Motor Vehicle Accidents
|Rank (1 is best, 33 is worst)||London Borough||Vehicle Miles (million, per year)||Killed or Seriously Injured (per year)||Killed or Seriously Injured/100 Million Miles of Driving|
|2||Kingston upon Thames||567||38||7|
|10||Richmond upon Thames||491||48||10|
|13||Barking and Dagenham||382||43||11|
|24||Kensington and Chelsea||309||69||22|
|27||Hammersmith and Fulham||319||79||25|
|33||City of London||96||51||53|
To measure the dangerousness of roads in each London borough, we looked at the most recent 2016 data on motor vehicle miles (the number of miles driven in each borough), accidents and reported casualties from the Department for Transport. Dividing the number of accidents or casualties by the vehicle miles driven in each borough gives a measure of risk for each driven mile in a borough—e.g., the odds of an accident per mile that a driver spends on a road.