Motorists to blame for most Wigan crashes, figures reveal

Emergency services at the scene of a serious accident
Emergency services at the scene of a serious accident

Don’t blame the roads, don’t blame the weather: the main cause of injury accidents in Wigan is bad driving, figures reveal.


The motorist or rider failing to look properly contributed to no fewer than 90 accidents in the borough last year.

The second most common cause was the driver or rider failing to judge another vehicle’s speed, which occurred in 40 incidents in Wigan.

The figures are from Department for Transport data which lists contributory factors for accidents, as recorded by police.

There are 78 different factors for officers to choose from.

They can record more than one reason for an accident, which, for example, could be caused by bad driving, poor weather conditions, pedestrians stepping into the road, or a combination of all three.

An accident is registered when at least one person suffers a slight injury in an incident with a vehicle. The injury does not have to involve cars. It could be a bike colliding with a pedestrian, or someone falling over while cycling.

Other common factors in Wigan were the driver or rider failing to judge another vehicle’s speed, bad turns or manoeuvres and pedestrians failing to look properly.

Across the North West the most common reason was the driver not looking properly.

RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams, said: “More people lose their lives and are injured on Britain’s roads in accidents caused by driver or rider error than for any other reason.

“Last year nearly two thirds of the fatalities on our roads were put down to mistakes. Sadly, the picture doesn’t seem to be improving as these figures are fairly typical of recent years’ data.

“We need to better understand the root causes of accidents and therefore require more data – something a dedicated road accident investigation body could provide.”

There were 448 Wigan road casualties in 2017, during which five people were killed and 72 seriously injured.