The 10-minute peak for car accidents during evening rush hour

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John Pickering




  • March is the second-worst month for accidents, behind November according to new analysis from industry specialist, AX
  • Winter months see a 7.45% spike in road accidents, with rear-end collisions the most common
  • The 10-minute spike between 17:00 and 17:10 sees most prangs across evening rush hour peak
  • Evening rush hour followed by 3pm school run as most accident-prone time on UK roads

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.

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