UK Accidents – An Analysis with Zoho Analytics

“Accidents are not accidents but precise arrivals at the wrong right time”, says, a popular writer and poet. This blog analyzes the road accidents that happened in the UK, and the contributing factors, for the years 1979 to 2013, based on the data published by the Ministry for Road Transport of the UK government.

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Let us take a look at the year-wise trend of the number of accidents.

The overall trend is a decreasing one.The number of accidents shot up to 3.2 million in 1981. The lowest was clocked in the year 2011 with the total number of accidents being around 60,000. When it comes to the number of accidents, anything more than zero is high, and relatively so.

Let’s categorize the road accidents to understand the behavioural complications better. Slight, Serious, and Fatal–based on the severity of the injuries. Makes it more easier to drill down to the cause of these accidents, doesn’t it?

Minor accidents that result in bruises and minimal damages, come under the Slight category; accidents that lead to medical complications come under the serious category, and accidents where deaths happen form the Fatal category.

The chart above shows the individual proportion of the various severity levels to the total number of accidents over the years. Slight accidents, followed by Serious accidents constitute the major chunk every year. Fatalities, though appear to be minimal over the years, cumulatively amount to more than a hundred thousand.

Do the days of the week have any notable relationship with the occurring of accidents? They seem to. From the chart below, plotting the number of accidents that happened over the years day-wise, some specific trends exist.

Sundays clock a significantly lesser number of accidents than the week average and Fridays, significantly more.

An accident does not happen by itself. There could be a combination of a number of factors that could lead to the accident. Here, we analyze the possibility of some of them – road type, speed limit, road surface conditions at the time of the accident, light conditions, and weather conditions.

We plotted the total number of accidents happened and the casualties involved for various road types. Single way carriages have the most number of accidents and casualties.


Now that we have seen the road types let us see the road surface conditions as a causative factor for the accidents.

Sixty-five percent of the accidents have happened under normal road conditions followed by damp road conditions, that caused 32% of the total accidents.

Here is another interesting report.

The above pie chart categorizes the total number of casualties across various speed ranges. The generation notion is that higher speed involves more number of casualties. On the contrary, the average speed limit of 30-40 maps to the maximum number of casualties.

Speaking of light conditions present at the time of accidents, majority of the accidents have happened in broad daylight. Perhaps, that is because of higher traffic during the daytime. And probably, drivers tend to be more careful when driving during the night.

Let’s now see to what extent insufficient lighting on the road contributed to the accidents.

The trend shows the accidents over the years that have happened because of lack of proper lighting conditions on the road. There has been a significant decrease in the trend, indicating an improvement in lighting facilities in the unlit roads.

When we take a look at the weather conditions versus the number of accidents happened over the years, most accidents have happened without any influence of bad weather. A good number of accidents happened when rains were present with no high winds.

Let’s check the casualties of different age groups and gender.

The web chart is skewed towards the age group of 16-45, indicating that this age group is more prone to accidents.

On drilling down further, we find the distribution of accidents across different age groups of the drivers, sex-wise. While the previous chart pertains to the casualties, this chart pertains to the drivers, who either caused the accidents or got directly affected by it.

This chart too provides a similar result, where almost the same age group of 16-45 years has caused or got affected by the most number of accidents.

All accidents have various first points of impact. Of them, let’s infer the ones that are most prone to accidents.

Predictably, the front side has been the most common point of impact, the next common point of impact being the back. The reason could be that the vehicle moving ahead could have come to a sudden stop and the following vehicle lost control and rammed into it.

Now, let’s see the maneuvering of vehicles on the road as a contributory factor to the accidents. With the graph plotted below, we could see the most common type of vehicle maneuvers that are accident prone.

Overtaking parallel vehicles around the bends has caused the most number of accidents. The graph also suggests that more caution needs to be exercised on the roads while turning as both turning on the roads or waiting to turn have caused a considerable number of accidents.

Let’s take a glance at the different types of vehicles that have proven to be accident-prone. From the chart below, cars seem to have undergone accidents the most number of times. This is because cars are the most common vehicle type.

Excluding the cars, let’s see which vehicle types have contributed to accidents throughout the day.

From the above graph, motorcycles, vans and surprisingly pedal cycles have contributed to accidents throughout the day, followed by goods vehicles. Buses involve in the accidents more in the late mornings and afternoons.

Similar to vehicle types, we have categorized casualty types that are more commonly prone to accidents.

From the chart above, once again, cars take the most blame. Car occupants have met with accidents the most number of times.

Accidents leave us scarred for life; they make a great deal of things irreversibly incomplete.Precaution-the only word that comes to mind while thinking of how to avoid accidents. Being cautious can do us all a lot of good. Especially, while on the roads.

Check this reporting database to view the complete compilation of the above reports and more.

Source(s): http://data.gov.uk/dataset/road-accidents-safety-data

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