Fleet News

March to be ‘worst month’ for car accidents, research finds

Incident or accident? Much depends on who is at fault

March has been revealed as one of the busiest months for car-to-car incidents, second only to November, according to AX.

This year has already seen snowfall and icy temperatures cause chaos on Britain’s roads, and more is to be expected as March both November and March are among the wettest months of the year.

The period of November to March sees accident rates spike by 7.45% compared with the summer months.

The analysis of over 57,000 vehicle accidents managed by AX on behalf of its automotive and insurance industry partners shows that the evening commute between 4pm and 6pm accounts for nearly a fifth of incidents on any given day.

Share of accidents across the day

00:00 - 02:00

0.81%

02:00 - 04:00

0.47%

04:00 - 06:00

0.64%

06:00 - 08:00

5.80%

08:00 - 10:00

13.06%

10:00 - 12:00

13.11%

12:00 - 14:00

15.62%

14:00 - 16:00

16.04%

16:00 - 18:00

17.47%

18:00 - 20:00

10.89%

20:00 - 22:00

4.19%

22:00 -24:00

1.92%

 

Almost one in six prangs during the evening peak occur in the 10-minute period starting at 5pm, making it the most error-prone time for drivers, whereas taking to the road just 10 minutes later could half the risk of being involved in an accident.

With 34% of accidents involving one car hitting the rear of another, AX is warning motorists ahead of the traditionally wet March to leave a sensible gap to the car in front.

AX’s director of sales and operations Scott Hamilton-Cooper said: “Stopping distances double in the rain and are as high as 10 times more in icy and snowy conditions.

“This goes some way to also explaining why 31% of incidents we manage involve a moving car hitting a parked one as the driver loses control.”

And yet, despite increasingly commonplace technology like reversing sensors and cameras, nearly one in 12 winter crashes involves a driver reversing into a stationary car.

Top Five types of winter road crashes

Hit in rear

34.25%

Hit whilst parked

31.51%

Third party pulled in front of car

12.88%

Third party reversed into stationary car

7.79%

Lane Change

6.70%

 

The second-most popular time for road accidents was the school-run period between 2pm and 4pm. Within the two-hour period, the majority of crashes took place in the 10 minutes between 3pm and 3.10pm - around the time most parents are rushing to pick their children up from school.  

Hamilton-Cooper said: “It is little surprise to see the majority of accidents take place during the afternoon and evening hours when many of us are busy trying to get home or rushing to pick up our kids.” 

 

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Comments

  • Mark Burgess - 21/02/2019 12:58

    Why oh why do governmental authorities still refer to collisions as 'accidents'? Radio and TV traffic updates still refer to collisions as 'accidents'. The constabulary refer to collisions as incidents. It is proven 95% of all collisions/incidents are caused by human error plus an additional factor. Whilst collisions continue to be called accidents drivers will make the assumption 'accidents' cannot be avoided.

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