The 15 most dangerous roads in the UK to drive this winter

The UK is one of the safest countries in the world for drivers – but certain roads carry particular risks, especially in poor weather. Do you have a dangerous road near you?
It might be because they’re fast, with heavy traffic. It could be due to tricky junctions or poor signage.
Or it might be because they’re windy, remote, and prone to bad weather. Roads like this are especially risky during the colder months, when wind, rain, ice and snow all take their toll.
Whatever the reason, it pays to be prepared. So we’ve compiled a guide to some of the UK’s most risky routes and a few top tips for safe winter driving.
We hope our guide helps you stay safe this winter. And if you do have an accident, we can help you with insurance for drivers with convictions, too.


Accidents in the UK


Most motorists in the UK drive carefully, keeping themselves and others safe. But of course, accidents do happen.
Although accident numbers dropped during the pandemic, they have begun to creep back up as more people resume normal life. Accident statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) for 2021 tell a sobering story.
  • 1,158 people died on the UK’s roads – a drop of 11% from pre-pandemic levels.
  • 27,450 people were killed or seriously injured (KSI) – also a drop of 11% from 2019.
  • There were 91 KSIs per billion road miles travelled, including 5.2 deaths.
  • 128,209 people suffered injuries (of any severity) in 2021.
What vehicles are involved in these accidents?
  • 1,216 fatal accidents involved at least one car.
  • 322 fatal accidents involved at least one motorbike.
  • 207 fatal accidents involved at least one HGV.
  • 194 fatal accidents involved an LGV.
  • 117 fatal accidents involved a bicycle.
  • 34 fatal accidents involved a bus or coach.
  • Car occupants made up 44% of road fatalities and 55% of road casualties.
So who is most at risk?
  • Men made up 78% of deaths and 62% of injuries of any severity.
  • Children aged 16 and under accounted for 3% of deaths and 10% of all casualties.
  • Young people aged 17-29 accounted for 26% of deaths and 30% of all casualties. This group includes a lot of new drivers, so read our recent blog on 21 tips for learner drivers to help you stay safe.
  • Older people made up 19% of deaths and 6% of all casualties. Figures for this age group have dropped significantly since 2019, perhaps because older people are still staying at home more.
To help you avoid becoming one of these statistics, you need to be aware of dangerous roads so you can take decisive action ahead of time. Failure to drive sensibly could lead to an accident, and possibly a motoring conviction.
If this happens to you, and you need insurance for drivers with convictions, just get in contact with us at the Insurance Factory. We’ll search our panel of trusted providers to find policies to suit your needs and your budget.


Where are the highest accident rates according to population?


A recent study looked at each local authority in the UK, and compared the number of KSIs with the size of that area’s population. The following areas had the highest number per head of population:
1. Powys, Wales: 135 people killed or seriously injured in 2021. That equals 101 people per 100,000.
2. Ceredigion, Wales: 69 KSIs, or 94.5 per 100,000 people.
3. Blackpool, North-West England: 114 KSIs, or 82.4 per 100,000 people.
4. Westminster, London: 221 KSIs, or 81.9 per 100,000 people.
5. Monmouthshire, Wales: 78, or 81.8 per 100,000 people.
Of course, there will be several factors behind those stats: road condition, speed limits, and weather all play a significant role. Read our recent blog on driving safely and reducing risk to find out more.
But in all cases, it’s important that you, the driver, take action to modify your driving behaviour to suit the conditions. Otherwise you could end up causing or contributing to a nasty accident.
If your accident results in a driving conviction, it can be hard to get motoring insurance to get you back safely and legally on the roads once more.
We specialise in arranging car insurance for drivers with convictions. Just get in contact for a quote, and we’ll do the rest.


Highest accident rate per mile travelled


The area with the highest number of KSIs for all road users in 2021 was Hampshire, in southern England. Some 841 people were killed or seriously injured on roads here in 2021.
Lancashire in north-West England and Kent in south-east England followed, with around 750.
But another way of determining which roads are the most dangerous is to look at the rate of accidents per billion miles travelled.
London comes out worst on this measure: unsurprisingly, given that people tend to travel relatively short distances in very heavy traffic.
The five local authorities with the worst KSI rate per mile are:
1. Lambeth, London: 221 KSI, or 470 per billion miles driven.
2. Westminster, London: 223 KSI, or 466 per billion miles.
3. City of London: 43 KSI, or 459 per billion miles.
4. Hackney, London: 132 KSI, or 440 per billion miles.
5. Southwark, London: 175 KSI, or 390 per billion miles.
The only place outside London in the top 10 is Blackpool, at number seven with 373 KSIs per billion miles driven.
So that just proves that you can never let your guard down while driving! Doing so, even on short journeys, can lead to a collision that could seriously injure you, your passengers, or other road users.
It could also land you with a motoring conviction that will make it hard to get insurance in the future.
If this happens to you, don’t despair. The Insurance Factory specialises in arranging insurance for drivers with convictions, and will find you suitable policies to get you back on the roads.
Before you get back behind the wheel, perhaps it’s time to invest in a car with the latest safety tech? Take a look at our recent blog on what safety features you should look for in a new car.


Most dangerous roads for cyclists and pedestrians



As mentioned above, car occupants account for only around half of all road casualties.
DfT figures show that:
The good news is that while cyclist and pedestrian numbers have risen since 2004, accidents have generally dropped. But of course, they’re still too high – and as a driver, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you don’t add to them.
So which British roads are the most dangerous for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians?
For pedestrians:
  1. Lancashire, NW England: 152 pedestrian KSI.
  2. Birmingham, West Midlands: 131.
  3. Kent, SE England: 119.
  4. Leeds, Yorkshire: 112.
  5. Essex, eastern England: 109.
For cyclists:
1. Hampshire, southern England: 152 cyclist KSI.
2. Surrey, SE England: 143.
3. Kent, SE England: 99.
4. Lancashire, NW England: 97.
5. Essex, eastern England: 91.
As a considerate driver, you’ll want to do everything you can to steer clear of vulnerable road users.
Remember that the Highway Code changed in 2022, and there is now a “hierarchy of road users” that aims to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. Check out the latest rules in our recent blog on 17 new driving laws for 2022.
Failure to follow these rules could mean you cause an accident, and end up with a motoring conviction. That’s likely to make it far harder to get car insurance in the future.
At the Insurance Factory, we understand that drivers can learn from their mistakes, and we want to help you get back on the road. Contact us for a quote for insurance for drivers with convictions.


The top 15 most dangerous roads


As you can see, there are many ways of determining what we mean by most dangerous. And the DfT’s accident statistics are collected by region, so it’s quite tricky to compare one road with another.
Plus, of course, a longer road is likely to have more accidents than a shorter one.
So many roads can lay claim to the dubious title of the most dangerous!
But the Road Safety Foundation (RSF) and the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP) carry out detailed analysis of individual roads every year. Their Building Back Safer report highlights some of the most persistently dangerous rural routes to drive in the UK, and shows where investment could be made to improve safety by 2030.
We’ve drawn on this report, and added in a few other stretches of road that are known to be especially hazardous. If you’re going to drive along any of them this winter, take special care.
Here’s our list of 15 of the most dangerous roads in the UK:


1. A199, East Lothian, Scotland


According to the EuroRAP report, the 11km stretch of road between the A1 near Dolphingstone Farm and the A1/B6471 west of Haddington saw 17 fatal or serious crashes between 2017 and 2019. That’s a huge rise from the nine such crashes that took place there between 2014 and 2016.
Of those 17 crashes, 72% involved pedestrians or cyclists. Make sure you keep a close watch for vulnerable road users if you’re driving here (or anywhere!).
This road is placed at number one in the EuroRAP list of top 10 persistently risky rural routes.


2. A1028, Lincolnshire, England


There were 10 fatal or serious crashes in 2017-2019 on this stretch of road between the A16 and the A158 near Spilsby, despite it being just 9km long. Three-quarters of them were at junctions, so proceed with caution.
If you fail to pay attention, you could end up with a conviction for dangerous or careless driving. That means a fine and points on your licence – or even a jail term if your motoring behaviour is judged as very dangerous.
We don’t judge you for your past mistakes. We just search our panel of providers to find insurance for drivers with convictions.


3. A683, Lancashire, England


The 25km of road between the junctions with the A6 in Lancaster and the A65 near Kirkby Lonsdale saw 25 serious or fatal crashes. Some 39% involved vehicles running off the road, so make sure you’re in control of your car at all times, and slow down if necessary.
Fortunately, this stretch of road is already being tackled through the DfT’s Safer Roads Fund, so hopefully the accident figure will drop in future years.


4. A57 Calderdale/ Rochdale, England


The risky section is between the A646 near Halifax and the A6033 in Littleborough. There were 22 serious or fatal accidents along this 19km stretch – a huge jump from the 13 such crashes that took place in 2014-2016.


5. A3057 Hampshire/ Southampton


This 37km road stretches all the way from the A33 near Southampton Central railway station to the A303 near Andover. Tragically, there were 52 crashes here in 2017-2019.


6. A151, Lincolnshire

The 22km road between the A15 in Bourne and the A16 near Spalding is known to be an especially risky route. There were 25 accidents here in 2017-2019, up from 14 in the previous analysis period.
If you’re involved in an accident and end up with a motoring conviction, the Insurance Factory can help. We take the legwork out of getting insurance for drivers with convictions, finding you quick quotes when you need them most.


7. A82, Scotland


This stretch of road between the A83 in Tarbet and the A85 in Clifton saw 23 crashes in 35km. That is a drop from the previous analysis period, when 27 such crashes took place.
Some 67% of the accidents here involved motorcyclists. So if you’re driving here, keep an eye out for bikers.
After an accident, it can be hard to demonstrate who was at fault. Consider fitting a dash cam to provide evidence.


8. A3055, Isle of Wight


On the 51km stretch of the A3055 between the A3054 near Freshwater and the A3054 in Ryde, there were 42 crashes. This figure has dropped from 50, so progress is being made!


9. A671, Lancashire


There were 19 serious or fatal crashes on the 18km between the A646 near Burnley and Healey Hall Wood – the same number as in the previous analysis period.
Almost a fifth occurred when the vehicle ran off the road. So perhaps it’s worth brushing up on your night driving skills to help you stay on track?


10. A6094, Midlothian


This 15km stretch between the A7 near Bonnyrigg and the A701 in Leadburn saw 12 serious or fatal crashes – down from 15. A third took place at junctions, so be alert.
Get in touch with the Insurance Factory, and we’ll find you specialist insurance for drivers with convictions.


11. A285, Sussex


The 19km stretch between Petworth and Chichester used to feature highly in the EuroRAP rankings, thanks to its combination of heavy traffic and many bends. It’s still a road where you need to take special care.


12. Kirkstone Pass, A592


This pass, which reaches almost 1,500 feet at its highest point, boasts stunning Lake District scenery – but it’s vital that you focus on the road ahead! Otherwise, you could cause an accident on one of its sharp bends.
On remote roads such as this, it’s vital that you’re prepared for what to do if you have an accident or break down. Do you know how to use your hazard warning lights to prevent other drivers from ploughing into you?


13. Cat and Fiddle, A537


This 10-mile stretch of road between Macclesfield in Cheshire and Buxton in Derbyshire, named after a pub, used to be notorious for crashes. It’s easy for drivers to lose control of their vehicle around the twisty route.
Encouragingly, it’s no longer at the top of the EuroRAP rankings. But it’s still not for the faint-hearted, particularly in winter when it gets icy.


14. A44, Wales


Like so many of the roads in this list, the route between Llangurig and Aberystwyth is very scenic – but treacherous. If you want to enjoy the scenery, find a safe place to pull over first!


15. A2, Northern Ireland


The Antrim Coast Road is another highly picturesque route: it was blasted into the sea cliffs during the Victorian era. That makes it prone to landslides and falling rocks, requiring constant monitoring and maintenance.
So that’s our list for 2022. Why not compare it with the blog on Britain’s most dangerous roads that we compiled a few years ago and see what’s changed?


Winter driving tips


While driving carries risks at any time of the year, it’s especially dangerous in winter. We’ve put together a blog about driving on ice and snow and we’d like to summarise a few of the tips here, too.
1. Get your vehicle professionally checked. An MOT is important, but only part of the story: you should also get your car serviced regularly.
Many garages will also offer quick winter checks of your battery, coolant levels, and so on.
2. Keep your vehicle in tip-top condition. This is important throughout the year, but especially in winter. Carry out regular basic checks yourself of your tyre pressure and tread, wipers, lights, and brakes.
3. Consider switching to winter tyres. These have better grip on the road, and are a great idea if you do a lot of winter driving on some of Britain’s most dangerous roads.
4. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. A mobile phone, charger, battery pack, torch, blanket, high-vis jacket, water, food and first aid supplies are all essential items if you break down in winter.
5. Clear your vehicle of ice and snow before setting off. Sounds obvious, but vehicles with frosted windows are seen all too frequently on the country’s roads.
Remember to remove snow from the top of your car, as it can slide forward over your windscreen once you start to move.
6. Slow down to suit weather conditions. If the roads are icy or wet, or visibility is reduced due to fog, you need to drive carefully.
Recent research found that speed is the strongest predictor of crashes at any time of the year. If your speed contributes to an accident, you can expect to end up with a motoring conviction.
At the Insurance Factory, we know that motorists make mistakes, and we’d like to help you get back safely on the roads. Contact us to arrange insurance for drivers with convictions.
7. Plan your journey carefully. Factor in extra time, and consider a route that avoids dangerous roads like those listed above.
8. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. On icy or wet roads, you’ll need to allow a greater stopping distance.
9. Learn how to control a skid in winter – our recent blog explains this in more detail. It’s all about observation, anticipation, and keeping calm.
Stay safe, and enjoy your winter wonderland driving!


Finding insurance for drivers with convictions just got easier



The UK has some stunning roads – but also some quite hair-raising ones. So it’s essential that you are covered by suitable insurance before you set out on your journeys.
If you’ve got a motoring conviction, it can be hard to find cover at a price you can afford. That’s where the specialists at the Insurance Factory come in.
We take the strain off you by finding you insurance for drivers with convictions. We won’t judge you on your past – we’ll simply search our panel of leading providers to find you policies that suit your needs and budget.
Contact us today for a quote.


Frequently asked questions

How can I prepare my vehicle for harsh winter weather?

Winter weather can be unforgiving, especially when it comes to our vehicles. To ensure that your car is ready for the harsh winter conditions, there are a few key preparations you should make. First and foremost, check your tyres. Make sure they have sufficient tread depth and are properly inflated. Winter tires are also a great investment, as they provide better traction on icy and snowy roads.

Additionally, don't forget to check your battery. Cold temperatures can significantly reduce its capacity, so it's important to have it tested and replaced if necessary. Lastly, stock up on essential supplies such as an ice scraper, snow brush, and emergency kit in case you get stranded in a snowstorm. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your vehicle is equipped to handle whatever winter throws at it.

Which car tyres are best to use in winter?

When it comes to navigating through icy roads and snowy conditions, having the right set of car tyres can make all the difference. Winter tyres are specifically designed to provide optimal traction and stability in cold weather conditions. These tyres are made with a special rubber compound that remains flexible even in freezing temperatures, allowing them to grip the road better.

Additionally, winter tyres have deeper tread grooves and biting edges that help improve traction on slippery surfaces. So, whether you're driving through heavy snowfall or encountering icy patches, using winter tyres can greatly enhance your safety and control on the road.

Are winter car tyres worth the investment?

When it comes to driving in winter conditions, safety should always be the top priority. And one of the best ways to ensure a safe and smooth ride during the colder months is by investing in winter car tyres. While some may argue that the cost of purchasing and installing winter tyres is not worth it, the benefits they provide far outweigh the initial investment.

Winter tyres are specifically designed to perform optimally in cold weather, with better grip and traction on icy or snow-covered roads. This significantly reduces the risk of accidents and allows for better control and manoeuvrability.

How can I drive safely on country roads during winter?

Winter driving on country roads can be challenging, but with a few precautions, you can navigate these roads safely. First and foremost, it's essential to drive at a speed appropriate for the conditions. Country roads are often narrower and more tight bends, so reducing your speed can give you more time to react to any unexpected obstacles.

Additionally, make sure your vehicle is equipped with winter tires or chains for added traction. It's also important to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, as stopping on icy roads can be difficult.

Why should I keep an emergency kit in my car during winter months?

During the winter months, it is a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car. You never know when you might find yourself stranded on a snowy road or in freezing temperatures. Having an emergency kit can mean the difference between life and death in these situations. Your kit should include items like a blanket, extra warm clothing, non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. These supplies will provide you with the essentials you need to survive until help arrives. Don't wait until it's too late - prepare yourself for any winter emergency by keeping an emergency kit in your car at all times.

Why should I keep a safe distance from other cars in poor weather conditions?

Keeping a safe distance from other cars is essential, especially in poor weather conditions. When the weather is bad, visibility is reduced, and the road becomes more slippery. This means that it takes longer for your car to come to a complete stop. By maintaining a safe distance, you allow yourself more time to react to sudden changes in traffic or road conditions. It also gives you a buffer zone in case the car in front of you suddenly brakes or loses control.

Additionally, keeping a safe distance helps prevent chain reaction accidents. If one car were to skid or collide with another, you would have enough space to maneuver and avoid getting caught up in the collision.

Do vehicle accidents increase during winter months?

It is a common belief that vehicle accidents increase during the winter months, and there is some truth to this. The slippery roads, reduced visibility, and unpredictable weather conditions all contribute to an increased risk of accidents. Drivers need to exercise extra caution during this time, ensuring that their vehicles are properly maintained and that they adjust their driving habits to accommodate the winter conditions. By doing so, we can help reduce the number of accidents and make our roads safer for everyone.