Crash Capital: Van drivers in London three times more likely to be involved in a collision

Crash Capital: Van drivers in London three times more likely to be involved in a collision

  • One in five Light Goods Vehicle (LGV) collisions occur in the capital
  • Average of 12,500 collisions involving LGVs every year across Britain
  • 47 of the 50 roads around Britain with the highest rates of LGV collisions are in London
  • Findings announced as Road Safety Week (21-27 November) commences

London, 24 November 2016: New research1 by van insurer Direct Line for Business reveals that van drivers in London are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than the national average.

An examination of Road Safety Analysis data, covering the past five years, reveals on average each year there are 2,504 collisions involving LGVs in London, representing 12 accidents per 1,000 LGVs – three times higher than the British average of 3.7 collisions per 1,000 LGVs2.

With an average of 12,525 collisions involving vans every year, this means that a fifth (20 per cent) of all van collisions in Britain take place in Greater London. The South East comes in second with 2,025 collisions every year (16 per cent of all accidents). However, as the South East has the highest number of registered LGVs in Britain with 550,000, this works out at just 3.7 collisions per 1,000 vans.

The South West, meanwhile – where more than 400,000 LGVs are registered – experiences an average of only 875 collisions involving vans every year, equating to just 2.1 collisions per 1,000 vans, making it the safest region for van-based incidents.

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business said: “With nearly 3.4 million Light Goods Vehicles registered across the country, vans represent nearly 10 per cent of all vehicles in Britain. Being involved in a crash is the greatest danger involved with driving and, as Road Safety Week commences, we hope these findings reiterate the importance of taking care when behind the wheel.

“While the safety of all road users and pedestrians is paramount, there is also an important business aspect, with many small companies’ livelihoods dependent on vans. It is therefore essential for small businesses to make sure that their vans have the right level of cover in the event of an accident.”

Table One: LGV volumes and collisions by GB region (annual average for 2011-2015)

Region Number of LGVs LGV collisions Share of all LGV collisions Collisions per 1,000 LGVs
London 208,340 2,504 20% 12.0
South East 551,220 2,025 16% 3.7
East of England 348,840 1,199 10% 3.4
West Midlands 393,560 1,120 9% 2.8
North West 303,320 1,064 8% 3.5
East Midlands 289,780 1,005 8% 3.5
Yorkshire and Humberside 251,760 979 8% 3.9
South West 407,140 875 7% 2.1
Scotland 250,340 794 6% 3.2
North East 144,420 512 4% 3.5
Wales 180,940 448 4% 2.5
Great Britain 3,397,540 12,525 100% 3.7

Source: Direct Line for Business, 2016

Andrew Hartley, analyst at Road Safety Analysis, said: “Whilst collisions on the roads of Great Britain have reduced over the past decade, collisions involving vans have remained relatively unchanged. Furthermore, higher rates of collisions tend to be found in town and city centres, where there are a higher proportion of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.

“An increased awareness of the risks of driving in busy areas amongst van drivers will hopefully contribute to a reduction in van driver collision involvement, in line with the reduction for all vehicles, which will benefit vulnerable road users, van drivers and businesses alike.”

Overall, there were 62,627 collisions involving LGVs between 2011 and 2015. This represents a 5 per cent decrease on the previous five-year period (2006-2010), when there were 66,131 collisions. The regions with the greatest decreases in collisions are the North West (23 per cent down), the West Midlands (18 per cent down) and the East Midlands (15 per cent down). London, however, experienced a 19 per cent increase in collisions over these two time periods.

When looking at the specific roads in Great Britain that experience the highest rate of LGV collisions every year, a staggering 47 of the 50 roads with the highest rate are located in Greater London. The majority of these locations are in Central London, where greater collision frequency is likely to be related to high traffic volumes.

Table Two: the 10 British roads with the highest rate of LGV collisions

Road Location Area LGV crash rate3
A23 Foxley Lane – A235 Brighton Rd Purley, Croydon 25.15
A11 A1210 Mansell St – A1202 Leman St Aldgate, London 17.62
A11 A13 Commercial Rd – B108 New Rd Aldgate, London 15.19
A40 Great Portland St – A400 Tottenham Court Rd Oxford St, London 15.02
A400 A400 Trafalgar Sq – B402 Cranbourn St Covent Gdn, London 14.72
A901 A900 Constitution St – B900 Bonnington Rd Edinburgh 12.40
A400 A503 Camden Rd – A502 Hawley Rd Camden, London 12.09
A400 B506 Bedford Sq – A40 New Oxford St Oxford St, London 11.13
A201 A5201 Clerkenwell Rd – A401 Roseberry Ave Clerkenwell, London 10.81
A4201 B406 Conduit St – A40 Oxford St Oxford St, London 10.73

Source: Direct Line for Business, 2016

Most dangerous roads infographic

For further details on Direct Line for Business’ van insurance please visit

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Antonia Green
Tel: 020 7282 2967

Direct Line Group
Jade Trimbee
PR Manager
Tel: 01372 839 452
Mobile: 07825 315 931

Direct Line for Business

Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or on-line.

Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting

Van Insurance Press Release

Last Updated: 25 Nov 2016