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Rear-end collisions on the rise

Rear-end shunts becoming more common despite safer cars and roads, according to research.

Our roads and cars are safer than ever, but that is doing little to stop drivers from driving into the back of their fellow motorists more than ever.

Probably best to keep your distance, eh?
Probably best to keep your distance, eh?

Rear-end shunts, which involve one driver going into the back of another, now make up 34.52 per cent of all accidents recorded by Accident Exchange, up from 32.17 per cent in 2011 – a proportional difference of 7.3 per cent increase over the last three years.

Accident Exchange said the majority of rear-end collisions happen at low speeds in urban areas, even though car safety systems such as collision detection and autonomous emergency braking are becoming increasingly common.

Driver distraction from smartphones and complicated infotainment systems is thought to be a contributing factor, which backs the findings of a recent Direct Line study that saw three-quarters of experienced motorists fail a practical driving test.

“There’s no obvious explanation because the nation’s roads are full of safer, more advanced vehicles which, in some cases, are supposed to help a driver to avoid collisions,” Accident Exchange director of sales development Liz Fisher said.

“However, it could be argued that increased connectivity in cars means the modern driver has more distractions while at the wheel from other technology, like mobile phones or MP3 players,” Fisher added.

The average cost of repairing a rear-end fender bender is £2,000, according to Accident Exchange. The driver behind is nearly always at fault in the eyes of the courts, although rare circumstances can see the blame shifted onto the driver in front such as braking hard on purpose for a fraudulent compensation claim.

Section 126 of the Highway Code advises you to leave at least enough distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front so that you could safely slow down or stop in the event of an emergency. This gap should increase when visibility is reduced or in wet or icy conditions.


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