Accident levels up but collision type changing

Car accident rates in the UK are increasing as lockdown eases, while the nature of accidents is also changing according to new analysis by AX.

It found that there was an 81% drop in the first two weeks of April compared to first two weeks of March. However, accidents rose by 72% in May compared to April, a considerable increase even before lockdown was significantly eased following the prime minister’s speech on 10 May.

The research by AX involved thousands of non-fault incidents. It also found the type of accidents UK motorists were involved in has also changed, with four in 10 non-fault collisions in April due to hitting parked cars – the first time this type of accident has represented over 40% of all collisions recorded.

Conversely, lower congestion meant rear-end collisions were no longer most common accident, representing just 13%.

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, sales and operations director at AX, said: “Our analysis reveals some intriguing and useful insight into the nature of road use and driving during this extraordinary time. While we expected accidents to fall significantly, the circumstances and types of incident changed markedly.

“Car parking accidents are always going to feature prominently, but they typically represent less than a third of all accidents, whereas during lockdown they were the most common. In normal circumstances, rear-end collisions are the most frequent accident scenario – it is easy to bump into the car in front while in traffic, not so in lockdown it appears. But with fewer trips and less practice, it seems parking has become a challenge for many drivers.”

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