How Dangerous is Driving a Mile in Each London Borough?

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

Chart showing the rate of motor vehicle accidents across London boroughs

London Boroughs Ranked by Lowest to Highest Rate of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Rank (1 is best, 33 is worst)London BoroughVehicle Miles (million, per year)Accidents (per year)Accidents/100 Million Miles of Driving
1Hillingdon1,35664948
2Kingston upon Thames56728851
3Havering99164765
4Enfield1,04277174
5Bexley58446580
6Sutton39435089
7Richmond upon Thames49143889
8Hounslow94787793
9Greenwich65761293
10Barnet1,02396194
11Bromley764761100
12Redbridge695695100
13Harrow357418117
14Croydon737900122
15Ealing7601,023135
16Barking and Dagenham382516135
17Merton359515143
18Waltham Forest457672147
19Newham568870153
20Brent556917165
21Lewisham476881185
22Hammersmith and Fulham319646203
23Wandsworth467951204
24Tower Hamlets5271,086206
25Kensington and Chelsea309694225
26Southwark4321,003232
27Haringey336851253
28Lambeth4551,268279
29Westminster5301,545292
30Camden280818292
31Hackney291899309
32Islington246771313
33City of London96368383
Average166

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 BoroughVehicle Miles (million, per year)Killed or Seriously Injured (per year)Killed or Seriously Injured/100 Million Miles of Driving
1Hillingdon1,356715
2Kingston upon Thames567387
3Enfield1,042737
4Barnet1,023747
5Greenwich657487
6Sutton394308
7Havering991808
8Hounslow947788
9Bexley584519
10Richmond upon Thames4914810
11Redbridge6957110
12Croydon7377610
13Barking and Dagenham3824311
14Bromley7649212
15Ealing7609212
16Merton3594412
17Harrow3574412
18Waltham Forest4576013
19Lewisham4766714
20Newham5688415
21Brent5569818
22Southwark4328119
23Wandsworth4679821
24Kensington and Chelsea3096922
25Haringey3367623
26Tower Hamlets52712123
27Hammersmith and Fulham3197925
28Lambeth45512227
29Westminster53017232
30Camden2809133
31Islington2468133
32Hackney2919834
33City of London965153
Average17

Methodology

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.

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