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The Most Dangerous Pedestrian Locations

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Britain’s roads are getting safer for pedestrians but can still be very dangerous if precautions aren’t taken. Statistics from the Department of Transport show that, in 2018, there were 22,048 pedestrians injured in road traffic accidents. In 2022, the last full year for which there are figures, that number had fallen to 19,323, a drop of 12.3%.

The declining rate of pedestrian accidents overtime is positive news, however, there was an 8.7% increase in the number of pedestrian deaths in 2022.

In this article which covers the risks faced by pedestrians from motor vehicles, we’ll share with you:

  • The 10 most dangerous places to be a pedestrian in the UK
  • The growing number of pedestrian deaths caused by road accidents
  • The riskiest times and road types for pedestrians
  • Other interesting statistical findings from the Department for Transport

The 10 most dangerous places to be a pedestrian in the UK

Before we begin, let’s establish what we mean by a pedestrian accident.

It’s when a pedestrian is involved in a collision with one or more vehicles. Those vehicles could be cars, vans, motorbikes, bicycles, or lorries.

According to an analysis of the latest government statistics between 2018-2022, these are the 10 riskiest towns and cities for pedestrians:

  1. Liverpool: There were 315 casualties in 2022 among Liverpool’s near half-million population. That means that, for every 100,000 residents, there were 65 casualties.
  2. Blackpool: The seaside resort finishes in second place for 2022 with 186 casualties from its 140,000 population. In the five years to 2022, however, Blackpool has statistically been the town or city in Britain where pedestrian injuries are most likely to occur.
  3. Nottingham: Nottingham has been getting safer later. The number of casualties each year in the past three years (101, 175, and 185) was lower than 2018 (190) and 2019 (198).
  4. Bradford: In contrast, it’s getting riskier for Bradford’s pedestrians in Bradford. There were 301 casualties in 2022, a jump of 24% over the figure five years before.
  5. Birmingham: In Britain’s second (or third, depending on who you talk to) city, the situation for the city’s 1.1m pedestrians has got better. In 2022, there were 599 pedestrian casualties, down from 650 in 2019.
  6. Greater London: 4,556 of the capital’s 8.8m residents experienced a road traffic accident as a pedestrian in 2022. The good news though is that pedestrian road traffic injuries have fallen by 21% since 2018.
  7. Calderdale: Over 210,000 live in this expansive West Yorkshire borough where there were 75 casualties in 2022. The bad news is that there were 46% more casualties in that year than in 2018.
  8. Brighton and Hove: Traffic volumes are high in Brighton and Hove thanks to its popularity as a seaside town. For residents and tourists on foot, the town is getting safer. There were 137 casualties in 2022, down from 168 in 2018.
  9. Kirklees: Kirkless is a large borough and it’s home to famous towns like Batley, Dewbury, and Huddersfield. Over 430,000 people live here and, in 2022, there were 208 pedestrian casualties. That number has unfortunately gone up a third since 2018.
  10. Leeds: West Yorkshire’s fourth appearance on this list is for its biggest city, Leeds, where 800,000 live. Like other towns and cities in the county on our list, the number of casualties is rising here, up from 315 in 2018 to 365 in 2022.

The growing number of pedestrian deaths caused by road accidents

The pandemic saw a big drop in the number of pedestrian deaths. The Department of Transport statistics for the past five years are:

  • 2018: 456
  • 2019: 470
  • 2020: 346
  • 2021: 361
  • 2022: 385

As traffic volumes have increased since the end of the pandemic lockdown, so has the number of  pedestrian road injuries.

It’s hard to pinpoint why exactly but the Department for Transport’s accident statistics might give us a clue.

They reported that the most common contributory factor in accidents where a pedestrian is fatally or seriously injured is failure to look properly.

Peak times and places for pedestrian accidents

In the UK, the peak time for road traffic accidents that involve pedestrians is between 3pm and 6pm on weekdays. It’s slightly later on the weekends. This shows that, particularly in the darker months, pedestrians and drivers need to take more care to look out for each other.

A recent New York Times article reported on the fact that, following 25 years of decline, the number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths began to rise from 2005. The newspaper speculates that many of these accidents were caused because of poor lighting conditions making it difficult for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers to see each other.

The Department for Transport statistics suggest that could be true for Britain as well.

Urban roads, parked cars and pedestrians

88% of pedestrian deaths in road traffic accidents occur on urban roads. That’s relevant because many people park their cars on the side of the road and on the curb.

This reduces visibility, making it harder for pedestrians to judge the path and speed of oncoming traffic. It also makes it harder for drivers who often only see pedestrians at the very last second, particularly if the driver is going too fast. Speeding is, according to the DfT figures, the second biggest contributory factor to pedestrian involvement in road accidents.

More evidence to back this up is where accidents actually happen. Most of them occur 20 metres or more away from a junction where cars are more likely to be parked on the side of a road.

If there’s a battle for parking spaces on a street, many end up parking near junctions. The statistics show that 30% of accidents involving pedestrians happen at T, Y or staggered junctions where pedestrians may have to look for traffic coming from multiple directions.

Rural roads, motorways and pedestrians

Rural roads can be very dangerous for pedestrians because these country lanes often have no pavements. However, there are actually fewer pedestrian accidents on these types of road because traffic volumes are much lighter.

Department of Transport statistics also highlights that nearly all pedestrian RTA deaths happen on motorways. This is normally when someone has got out of a broken-down car and is waiting for help, a time when they’re particularly vulnerable to being hit by vehicles travelling at speed.

Pedestrian accident demographics

There were other interesting findings for pedestrians in the Department for Transport’s figures.

Between 2018 and 2022, there was a significant gender disparity in pedestrian casualties in Britain, with 58% being male and 42% female.

The disparity was more noticeable in certain age groups. There is also a spike in child road accidents and in the 30 to 39 age group. In both of these demographics, male casualties outnumber females by a factor of 1.8. The only age group where female casualties outnumber male casualties was the over 70s.

The type of accident that caused the greatest number of fatalities were collisions with one car. The highest proportion of fatalities to accidents came with a collision involving a single Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV). The second most proportionately fatal type of accident was a collision that involved a pedestrian and three or more vehicles.

Pedestrian safety tips

The Highway Code released its latest safety rules for pedestrians in 2022, which are designed to keep pedestrians safe on the road.

The rules stipulate that pedestrians must use pavements and footways where possible and to avoid being next to the kerb when facing the opposite direction of traffic.

The latest Highway Code rules also state that pedestrians must ensure they cross a road within a place visible to drivers. This means that it’s important to cross in a place which has no obstructions for drivers.

To help stay safe on the road as a pedestrian, follow these tips:

  • Use nearby crossings: Use zebra crossings, subways, traffic lighted sections, and footbridges where you can.
  • Stop: When you want to cross the road, stop and examine your surroundings. Look and listen for the sound of approaching vehicles first.
  • Parked cars: It’s harder to see cars and other vehicles approach you if you’re crossing the road between parked cars. Try to avoid this.
  • Don’t cross on bends or at junctions: It can be difficult to see or hear traffic as it may be coming from multiple directions at the same time.
  • Bright clothing: Consider wearing bright clothing during the day and switch to reflective coats at night.

How we can help with pedestrian road accidents

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident as a pedestrian and it wasn’t completely your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.

We’re The Compensation Experts. We work with a hand-selected panel of law firms that specialise in personal injury claims. Get in touch with us to tell us about the accident. We’ll then match you to a road traffic collision specialist with a proven track record and experience in this area of the law, who will work with you to secure the compensation you deserve.

Call us on 0800 128 2187 or use our contact form. Our service is free of charge and our partner legal firms often work on a no-win, no-fee basis.


The Compensation Experts analysed the Department of Transport pedestrian fact sheet,

which was published on September 28th 2022. To determine the leading UK locations for pedestrian casualties, total pedestrian casualties between 2018-2022 were analysed in connection with the average population.

  • Data is for Great Britain and does not include Northern Ireland
  • Data is based on local authority responsible for the roads
  • Estimates are calculated by from figures which are as reported by police
  • Local authorities with populations under 25,000 were remove from the data
  • This includes Isles Of Scilly, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands
  • Injuries include injuries of all severities, including fatalities