Winter car prangs, bumps and scrapes peak in the 10 minutes between 17:00 and 17:10, according to new research from industry specialist, AX.
This year has already seen snowfall and icy temperatures cause chaos on Britain’s roads, and more is to be expected as March is second only to November as the busiest for car-to-car incidents. Both November and March are among the wettest months of the year.
The winter 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 16:00 and 18:00 accounts for nearly a fifth of incidents on any given day.
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.
“Stopping distances double in the rain and are as high as 10 times more in icy and snowy conditions,” explains Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of sales and operations at AX. “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.
The second-most popular time for road accidents was the school-run period between 14:00 and 16:00. Within the two-hour period, the majority of crashes took place in the 10 minutes between 15:00 and 15:10 – around the time most parents are rushing to pick their children up from school.
Hamilton-Cooper added: “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.”