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Best Drivers Report

Amelia Scholey, Brand and Content Specialist, Thursday, 12 January 2023
Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2023

Where in the UK has the best drivers?

best drivers report header

When people buy a car or apply for car finance, the world is their oyster, as they can finally get out on the roads. However, not everyone is a good driver and most motorists have encountered bad drivers on the roads, whether it is someone forgetting where their indicators are, getting too close to other cars, or driving in a reckless manner.

Often, good and bad driving has little impact but when it does, the effects can be devastating. In the UK 1,560 people died on the roads in 2021, with a further 25,739 seriously injured, many of these are a result of poor driving.

All over the country, there are drivers of immensely varied ability on the roads, but where in the UK has the best drivers? We’ve analysed government statistics on road deaths and accidents, as well as the number of speeding fines handed out in each area, to reveal the local authorities with the best and worst drivers.

The UK areas with the best drivers

uk areas with best drivers

1. Swansea, best driver score of 9.14/10:

The best drivers in the country are found in Swansea. The best driver score around Wales’ second largest city was 4.08 higher than the national average of 5.06/10. There were only 6.37 road accidents per 10,000 people in the region, and just 1.5 deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people. Swansea is also the location of the headquarters of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

2. Merthyr Tydfil, best driver score of 9.05/10:

Merthyr Tydfil is another south Walian region, located just south of the Brecon Beacons. The best driver score in the borough was just 0.09 lower than Swansea, making it the UK area with the second-best drivers. There were 1.8 deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people here, and a 113% reduction of that figure in the past 5 years.

3. Cardiff, best driver score of 9.03/10:

Cardiff makes it a hat-trick of Welsh regions that contain the best drivers, and one of only three UK regions to score more than 9/10. There were just 1.5 deaths or serious injuries on Cardiff’s roads per 10,000 people. As the capital of the country and the largest Welsh local area, roads in and around Cardiff are very busy.

table key

The UK areas with the worst drivers

uk areas with the worst drivers

1. Bradford, best driver score of 1.05/10:

The worst drivers in the country are found in the West Yorkshire area, around the city of Bradford. Known for the National Science and Media Museum, many visitors travel into the city, therefore causing a high amount of traffic. There were 7.7 motoring offences per 100,000 people in Bradford. In addition, there were 6 deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people, increasing by 18% in five years.

2. Herefordshire, best driver score of 1.88/10:

The county of Herefordshire has the second worst drivers in the country. Despite being the fourth smallest county in the country, drivers in Herefordshire scored less than 2/10. Although accidents have reduced, there were still 16 per 10,000 people, as well as 5.4 deaths or serious injuries per 10,000.

3. Blackpool, best driver score of 2.12/10:

The third worst drivers in the country are found in and around the North West seaside town of Blackpool. Once a hub for tourism and summer holidays, Blackpool’s appeal as a holiday destination has waned over the years. It is now home to a few relics of a glorious past and unfortunately, a few bad drivers.

table key
worst drivers table 1

The areas with the deadliest drivers

1. City of London, 35.66 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

The city of London is one of the smallest local regions in the UK, with a very small population. However, the area is also a hub for tourism and business, and as such it gets a disproportionately high level of traffic. There are over 20 more deaths and serious injuries per 10,000 people on the roads in the city of London than anywhere else in the country.

2. Powys, 10.15 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Powys has the second highest number of road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people, although it is far less than in London. There were 135 total serious injuries and deaths, which works out as just over 10 per 10,000 people. Powys is one of Wales’ larger regions, and was its own ‘Kingdom of Powys’, until the death of its last ruler Madog ap Maredudd in 1160.

3. Ceredigion, 9.47 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Ceredigion is a coastal region of mid-Wales containing the towns of Aberystwyth and Cardigan, it has a population of just under 73,000. In 2021 there were 69 serious injuries or deaths on the roads, this is just 9.47 per 10,000 people.

most road casualties table

Local authorities with the highest increases

1. Blaenau Gwent
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 24
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 43
5-year increase in road deaths or serious injuries – 44.2%

The highest increase in the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads happened in the southeast Walian county of Blaenau Gwent. The county has a population of just 66,900 however, there was a 44.2% increase in road deaths and injuries from 24 in 2017 to 43 in 2021.

2. Monmouthshire
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 44
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 78
5-year increase in road deaths or serious injuries – 43.6%

Monmouthshire, the neighbouring county to Blaenau Gwent takes second place. There were 35 more deaths in Monmouthshire than in Blaenau Gwent in 2021, but the growth in the number of deaths was slightly less. The total number rose 43.6% from 44 to 78 since 2017.

3. Bexley
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 56
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 88
5-year increase in road deaths or serious injuries – 36.4%

The London borough of Bexley has seen the highest increase of road deaths and serious injuries in England and the third highest in the UK. Between 2017 and 2021 the number of serious injuries and deaths on the roads increased from 56 to 88, a large increase of 36.4%.

increasing road casualties table

The UK’s road accident hotspots

1. City of London, 134.4 road accidents per 10,000 people:

As well as having the most deaths and injuries per 10,000 people the City of London region also has the most road accidents, with 134.4 accidents per 10,000 people. In fact, London areas make up the entirety of the top ten, showing that most accidents happen in the capital, possibly due to a large number of varied road users including cyclists, car drivers, goods traffic and bus drivers.

2. Westminster, 42.4 road accidents per 10,000 people:

As mentioned above, London regions are where the most road accidents occur in the entire UK. The second highest amount per 10,000 people was recorded in the political hub of Westminster, with 42.4 road accidents per 10,000 people.

3. Kensington and Chelsea, 39 road accidents per 10,000 people:

Another expensive central London region completes the top three of the rankings, with Kensington and Chelsea ranking in third place, with this borough seeing 39.08 road accidents per 10,000 people in 2021. The borough is known for its fantastic historical sites and luxury shops, which can make it very busy at peak times.

uk accident hotspots table

The areas where road accidents are on the rise

1. Monmouthshire
2017 road accidents – 98
2021 road accidents – 121
5-year increase in road accidents – 19%

As well as having an increase in road deaths and serious injuries, road accidents have increased in Monmouthshire by almost 20% in the past five years. There were under 100 accidents on their roads in 2017, but it was up to 121 last year. Monmouthshire is a region full of history, with many ancient castles in the area.

2. Orkney Islands
2017 road accidents – 11
2021 road accidents – 13
5-year increase in road accidents – 15.4%

Although there were only two more accidents on the roads of the remote Orkney Islands in 2021 than in 2017, this still accounts for an increase of 15.4% due to the small number of accidents taking place in the area. The Orkney islands are the second most northerly part of the UK, and are home to many famous historical sites such as the Ring of Brodgar and St Magnus Cathedral.

3. Derby
2017 road accidents – 457
2021 road accidents – 511
5-year increase in road accidents – 10.57%

The city which lies on the banks of the River Derwent is up next. Derby has seen the third-highest increase in the number of accidents on its roads between 2017 and 2021. In the past five years, the number of accidents rose by over 10% from 457 to 511.

increasing road accidents table

The UK areas with the safest drivers

Local authorities with the fewest deaths/injuries

1. Bath and North-East Somerset, 0.92 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Bath and North-East Somerset are home to the UK’s safest drivers. There is less than one single average death or serious injury per 10,000 people on the roads in Bath and North East-Somerset. The region has a population of just under 200,000 and there were just 18 casualties in 2021.

2. Aberdeen, 1.18 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Known as the ‘Granite City’, Aberdeen is located on the east coast of Scotland and is home to almost 230,000 people. There were 27 deaths or serious injuries on the road in 2021, equating to 1.18 per 10,000 people.

3. East Dunbartonshire, 1.38 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Another Scottish region saw the third lowest number of road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people. East Dunbartonshire saw 1.38 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000. Just north of the biggest city of Glasgow, it is home to around 100,000 and there were 15 casualties on the road.

fewest road casualties table

Local authorities with the highest decreases

1. Bath and North-East Somerset
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 51
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 18
5-year decrease in road deaths or serious injuries – 183.3%

As well as having the lowest deaths relative to their population, Bath and North-East Somerset is also the region that has seen the biggest five-year drop in the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads. In 2017 there were 51, but this has dropped to just 18 (183.3%) in 2021.

2. Moray
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 50
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 18
5 year decrease in road deaths or serious injuries – 177.8%

Another area which has reduced its number of road deaths and serious injuries to 18 is Moray, a Scottish council area located in between Aberdeen to the east and Inverness and Aviemore to the west. However, Moray loses out on the top spot because it had one fewer casualty in 2017, so its reduction was 177.8%.

3. North Lanarkshire
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 147
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 56
5-year decrease in road deaths or serious injuries – 162.5%

Another Scottish area completes our top three. North Lanarkshire saw the third biggest reduction in the number of deaths and serious injuries on its roads in the past half-decade. In 2017 there were 147, which dropped by 162.5% to 56 in 2021.

Areas with the fewest road accidents

1. Aberdeen, 2.58 road accidents per 10,000 people:

Aberdeen makes another appearance in our study, with the area having the second lowest number of deaths and serious injuries per 10,000 people, and they have gone one better when it comes to accidents. There were 59 total accidents in Aberdeen, equating to just 2.58 per 10,000 people.

2. Moray, 2.93 road accidents per 10,000 people:

Another Scottish area making a second appearance in our study is Moray. Located in the northeast of Scotland, the council of Moray is home to just under 100,000 people. There were only 28 accidents in the region, but their population is over 130,000 less than Aberdeen’s so there were 2.93 road accidents per 10,000 people.

3. East Dunbartonshire, 3.31 road accidents per 10,000 people:

There were 3.31 accidents per 10,000 people on the East Dunbartonshire roads, and there were 36 total accidents for a population of around 108,000. East Dunbartonshire is located just north of Scotland’s largest city (Glasgow), and as a result, gets higher traffic due to people visiting the city.

The areas where road accidents are decreasing

1. West Dunbartonshire
2017 road accidents – 114
2021 road accidents – 43
5-year decrease in road accidents – 165.1%

Whilst east Dunbartonshire has one of the lowest accident rates per 10,000 people, its western neighbour has seen the biggest decrease in the number of accidents on its roads between 2017 and 2021. There were 114 accidents in 2017, which dropped by a massive 165.1% to just 43 in 2021.

2. Aberdeen City
2017 road accidents – 154
2021 road accidents – 59
5-year decrease in road accidents – 161.02%

Aberdeen saw the second biggest reduction in the number of accidents. Dropping by almost 100, from 154 to 59. This is a 161.02% reduction for the city region in five years. The granite city is famous for its distinctive buildings and successful football team, but now Aberdonians have safe roads to be proud of as well.

3. Inverclyde
2017 road accidents – 91
2021 road accidents – 35
5-year decrease in road accidents – 160.0%

Scottish council areas account for the top eight areas in terms of reduction in road accidents over the past five years, the third biggest of those was in Inverclyde. In 2017 there were 91 accidents in the region, reduced by 160% to 35 accidents in 2021.

decreasing road accidents table

Methodology

Where in the UK has the best drivers?

best drivers report header

When people buy a car or apply for car finance, the world is their oyster, as they can finally get out on the roads. However, not everyone is a good driver and most motorists have encountered bad drivers on the roads, whether it is someone forgetting where their indicators are, getting too close to other cars, or driving in a reckless manner.

Often, good and bad driving has little impact but when it does, the effects can be devastating. In the UK 1,560 people died on the roads in 2021, with a further 25,739 seriously injured, many of these are a result of poor driving.

All over the country, there are drivers of immensely varied ability on the roads, but where in the UK has the best drivers? We’ve analysed government statistics on road deaths and accidents, as well as the number of speeding fines handed out in each area, to reveal the local authorities with the best and worst drivers.

The UK areas with the best drivers

merthyr tydfil 2nd best drivers
cardiff 3rd best drivers

1. Swansea, best driver score of 9.14/10:

The best drivers in the country are found in Swansea. The best driver score around Wales’ second largest city was 4.08 higher than the national average of 5.06/10. There were only 6.37 road accidents per 10,000 people in the region, and just 1.5 deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people. Swansea is also the location of the headquarters of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

2. Merthyr Tydfil, best driver score of 9.05/10:

Merthyr Tydfil is another south Walian region, located just south of the Brecon Beacons. The best driver score in the borough was just 0.09 lower than Swansea, making it the UK area with the second-best drivers. There were 1.8 deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people here, and a 113% reduction of that figure in the past 5 years.

3. Cardiff, best driver score of 9.03/10:

Cardiff makes it a hat-trick of Welsh regions that contain the best drivers, and one of only three UK regions to score more than 9/10. There were just 1.5 deaths or serious injuries on Cardiff’s roads per 10,000 people. As the capital of the country and the largest Welsh local area, roads in and around Cardiff are very busy.

best drivers table 1
best drivers table 2

The UK areas with the worst drivers

bradford 1st worst drivers
herefordshire 2nd worst drivers

1. Bradford, best driver score of 1.05/10:

The worst drivers in the country are found in the West Yorkshire area, around the city of Bradford. Known for the National Science and Media Museum, many visitors travel into the city, therefore causing a high amount of traffic. There were 7.7 motoring offences per 100,000 people in Bradford. In addition, there were 6 deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people, increasing by 18% in five years.

2. Herefordshire, best driver score of 1.88/10:

The county of Herefordshire has the second worst drivers in the country. Despite being the fourth smallest county in the country, drivers in Herefordshire scored less than 2/10. Although accidents have reduced, there were still 16 per 10,000 people, as well as 5.4 deaths or serious injuries per 10,000.

3. Blackpool, best driver score of 2.12/10:

The third worst drivers in the country are found in and around the North West seaside town of Blackpool. Once a hub for tourism and summer holidays, Blackpool’s appeal as a holiday destination has waned over the years. It is now home to a few relics of a glorious past and unfortunately, a few bad drivers.

worst drivers table 2

The areas with the deadliest drivers

1. City of London, 35.66 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

The city of London is one of the smallest local regions in the UK, with a very small population. However, the area is also a hub for tourism and business, and as such it gets a disproportionately high level of traffic. There are over 20 more deaths and serious injuries per 10,000 people on the roads in the city of London than anywhere else in the country.

2. Powys, 10.15 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Powys has the second highest number of road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people, although it is far less than in London. There were 135 total serious injuries and deaths, which works out as just over 10 per 10,000 people. Powys is one of Wales’ larger regions, and was its own ‘Kingdom of Powys’, until the death of its last ruler Madog ap Maredudd in 1160.

3. Ceredigion, 9.47 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Ceredigion is a coastal region of mid-Wales containing the towns of Aberystwyth and Cardigan, it has a population of just under 73,000. In 2021 there were 69 serious injuries or deaths on the roads, this is just 9.47 per 10,000 people.

most road casualties table

Local authorities with the highest increases

1. Blaenau Gwent
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 24
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 43
5-year increase in road deaths or serious injuries – 44.2%

The highest increase in the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads happened in the southeast Walian county of Blaenau Gwent. The county has a population of just 66,900 however, there was a 44.2% increase in road deaths and injuries from 24 in 2017 to 43 in 2021.

2. Monmouthshire
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 44
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 78
5-year increase in road deaths or serious injuries – 43.6%

Monmouthshire, the neighbouring county to Blaenau Gwent takes second place. There were 35 more deaths in Monmouthshire than in Blaenau Gwent in 2021, but the growth in the number of deaths was slightly less. The total number rose 43.6% from 44 to 78 since 2017.

3. Bexley
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 56
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 88
5-year increase in road deaths or serious injuries – 36.4%

The London borough of Bexley has seen the highest increase of road deaths and serious injuries in England and the third highest in the UK. Between 2017 and 2021 the number of serious injuries and deaths on the roads increased from 56 to 88, a large increase of 36.4%.

The UK’s road accident hotspots

1. City of London, 134.4 road accidents per 10,000 people:

As well as having the most deaths and injuries per 10,000 people the City of London region also has the most road accidents, with 134.4 accidents per 10,000 people. In fact, London areas make up the entirety of the top ten, showing that most accidents happen in the capital, possibly due to a large number of varied road users including cyclists, car drivers, goods traffic and bus drivers.

2. Westminster, 42.4 road accidents per 10,000 people:

As mentioned above, London regions are where the most road accidents occur in the entire UK. The second highest amount per 10,000 people was recorded in the political hub of Westminster, with 42.4 road accidents per 10,000 people.

3. Kensington and Chelsea, 39 road accidents per 10,000 people:

Another expensive central London region completes the top three of the rankings, with Kensington and Chelsea ranking in third place, with this borough seeing 39.08 road accidents per 10,000 people in 2021. The borough is known for its fantastic historical sites and luxury shops, which can make it very busy at peak times.

The areas where road accidents are on the rise

1. Monmouthshire
2017 road accidents – 98
2021 road accidents – 121
5-year increase in road accidents – 19%

As well as having an increase in road deaths and serious injuries, road accidents have increased in Monmouthshire by almost 20% in the past five years. There were under 100 accidents on their roads in 2017, but it was up to 121 last year. Monmouthshire is a region full of history, with many ancient castles in the area.

2. Orkney Islands
2017 road accidents – 11
2021 road accidents – 13
5-year increase in road accidents – 15.4%

Although there were only two more accidents on the roads of the remote Orkney Islands in 2021 than in 2017, this still accounts for an increase of 15.4% due to the small number of accidents taking place in the area. The Orkney islands are the second most northerly part of the UK, and are home to many famous historical sites such as the Ring of Brodgar and St Magnus Cathedral.

3. Derby
2017 road accidents – 457
2021 road accidents – 511
5-year increase in road accidents – 10.57%

The city which lies on the banks of the River Derwent is up next. Derby has seen the third-highest increase in the number of accidents on its roads between 2017 and 2021. In the past five years, the number of accidents rose by over 10% from 457 to 511.

increasing road accidents table

The UK areas with the safest drivers

Local authorities with the fewest deaths/injuries

1. Bath and North-East Somerset, 0.92 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Bath and North-East Somerset are home to the UK’s safest drivers. There is less than one single average death or serious injury per 10,000 people on the roads in Bath and North East-Somerset. The region has a population of just under 200,000 and there were just 18 casualties in 2021.

2. Aberdeen, 1.18 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Known as the ‘Granite City’, Aberdeen is located on the east coast of Scotland and is home to almost 230,000 people. There were 27 deaths or serious injuries on the road in 2021, equating to 1.18 per 10,000 people.

3. East Dunbartonshire, 1.38 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people:

Another Scottish region saw the third lowest number of road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000 people. East Dunbartonshire saw 1.38 road deaths or serious injuries per 10,000. Just north of the biggest city of Glasgow, it is home to around 100,000 and there were 15 casualties on the road.

fewest road casualties table

Local authorities with the highest decreases

1. Bath and North-East Somerset
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 51
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 18
5-year decrease in road deaths or serious injuries – 183.3%

As well as having the lowest deaths relative to their population, Bath and North-East Somerset is also the region that has seen the biggest five-year drop in the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads. In 2017 there were 51, but this has dropped to just 18 (183.3%) in 2021.

2. Moray
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 50
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 18
5 year decrease in road deaths or serious injuries – 177.8%

Another area which has reduced its number of road deaths and serious injuries to 18 is Moray, a Scottish council area located in between Aberdeen to the east and Inverness and Aviemore to the west. However, Moray loses out on the top spot because it had one fewer casualty in 2017, so its reduction was 177.8%.

3. North Lanarkshire
2017 road deaths or serious injuries – 147
2021 road deaths or serious injuries – 56
5-year decrease in road deaths or serious injuries – 162.5%

Another Scottish area completes our top three. North Lanarkshire saw the third biggest reduction in the number of deaths and serious injuries on its roads in the past half-decade. In 2017 there were 147, which dropped by 162.5% to 56 in 2021.

Areas with the fewest road accidents

1. Aberdeen, 2.58 road accidents per 10,000 people:

Aberdeen makes another appearance in our study, with the area having the second lowest number of deaths and serious injuries per 10,000 people, and they have gone one better when it comes to accidents. There were 59 total accidents in Aberdeen, equating to just 2.58 per 10,000 people.

2. Moray, 2.93 road accidents per 10,000 people:

Another Scottish area making a second appearance in our study is Moray. Located in the northeast of Scotland, the council of Moray is home to just under 100,000 people. There were only 28 accidents in the region, but their population is over 130,000 less than Aberdeen’s so there were 2.93 road accidents per 10,000 people.

3. East Dunbartonshire, 3.31 road accidents per 10,000 people:

There were 3.31 accidents per 10,000 people on the East Dunbartonshire roads, and there were 36 total accidents for a population of around 108,000. East Dunbartonshire is located just north of Scotland’s largest city (Glasgow), and as a result, gets higher traffic due to people visiting the city.

fewest road accidents table

The areas where road accidents are decreasing

1. West Dunbartonshire
2017 road accidents – 114
2021 road accidents – 43
5-year decrease in road accidents – 165.1%

Whilst east Dunbartonshire has one of the lowest accident rates per 10,000 people, its western neighbour has seen the biggest decrease in the number of accidents on its roads between 2017 and 2021. There were 114 accidents in 2017, which dropped by a massive 165.1% to just 43 in 2021.

2. Aberdeen City
2017 road accidents – 154
2021 road accidents – 59
5-year decrease in road accidents – 161.02%

Aberdeen saw the second biggest reduction in the number of accidents. Dropping by almost 100, from 154 to 59. This is a 161.02% reduction for the city region in five years. The granite city is famous for its distinctive buildings and successful football team, but now Aberdonians have safe roads to be proud of as well.

3. Inverclyde
2017 road accidents – 91
2021 road accidents – 35
5-year decrease in road accidents – 160.0%

Scottish council areas account for the top eight areas in terms of reduction in road accidents over the past five years, the third biggest of those was in Inverclyde. In 2017 there were 91 accidents in the region, reduced by 160% to 35 accidents in 2021.

decreasing road accidents table

Methodology

 
Amelia Scholey, Brand and Content Specialist
Bringing you the latest motor news so you can stay informed, whether you drive a car, motorbike or van.
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