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, Havering and Kingston upon Thames, with 54.3, 57.3 and 59.9 accidents per 100 million miles driven, respectively.
At the other end of the spectrum, drivers in the boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Camden experience much higher accident rates over 300 per 100 million miles of driving.
You’re 6.2 times more likely to be in a motor vehicle accident driving a mile in Camden than in Hillingdon. Put another way, the odds of having an accident per mile driven are 4.6X higher in the 5 most dangerous boroughs (Westminster, City of London, Hackney, Islington and Camden) compared to the 5 safest (Hillingdon, Havering, Kingston upon Thames, Hounslow and Bexley).
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|
|3||Kingston upon Thames||551||330||59.9|
|8||Richmond upon Thames||460||444||96.5|
|19||Barking and Dagenham||373||585||156.8|
|24||Kensington and Chelsea||321||683||212.8|
|25||Hammersmith and Fulham||322||706||219.3|
|30||City of London||90||269||298.9|
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
Havering and Hillingdon top the safety charts, with 8.2 and 9.5 killed or seriously injured per 100 million miles of driving by borough, respectively. Kingston upon Thames, Enfield, Barnet and Hounslow follow with 10 to 13 killed or seriously injured per 100 million miles of driving.
In contrast Westminster, Camden, Hackney, Islington and City of London are the least safe, with more than 50 killed or seriously injured per 100 million miles driven on their roads.
You are at least 5.6 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 or Havering.
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|
|3||Kingston upon Thames||551||55||10.0|
|13||Richmond upon Thames||460||85||18.5|
|20||Barking and Dagenham||373||100||26.8|
|23||Hammersmith and Fulham||322||111||34.5|
|26||Kensington and Chelsea||321||126||39.3|
|33||City of London||90||82||91.1|
To measure the dangerousness of roads in each London borough, we looked at the most recent 2018 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.