There is never a good time to have a prang with the car or van, but during winter months and pre-British Summer Time you need to keep your eyes and ears open more than usual because, according to research by accident aftercare specialist, Accident Exchange, there are approximately 70,000* more accidents then than in the summer. And these winter prangs are costing motorists £150 million more than summertime.
With winter seemingly getting later and later this year, although we seem to have missed out on too much snowy escapades, frosty roads and rainy weather still manage to create havoc well into the year, with the figures revealing a "15%* rise in accidents during the winter months from January-March when compared to the equivalent June-August summertime figure."
Much of this can be put down to the darker evenings with a peak accident time of between 5pm and 6pm with a 30% increase against the average of any other given hour during the day, with lower visibility and high congestion the main reasons.
No real surprises that Friday sees more accidents than any other with 19% more accidents happening than on average during the week on that day as the fatigue of the working week takes its toll.
Scott Hamilton-Cooper, operations director at Accident Exchange commented: “With a mixture of poor weather and visibility, additional congestion and inevitable fatigue toward the end of the week, it’s no surprise that the winter months experience this kind of surge in accidents."
"With one of the coldest January’s on record already under our belts, motorists will have been even more prone to ice, slippery roads and fog which could easily see this number rise even further."
Well, despite it not really falling into the winter weather period, Accident Exchange also found that the heaviest spike in accidents fell on the last Friday before the May Day bank holiday, with 75% more accidents than the average.
This year, that day falls on the 28th of April, which could see an increase in recorded accidents of approximately 10,500 versus 6,000 on a typical day. So be careful on that day.
* Data analysis of 28,000 accidents by Accident Exchange found 26.78% accidents occurred from January to March and 23.455% accidents from June to August, an increase of 14.18%. There are an estimated 2.2 million accidents annually across the UK. Total winter accidents can be worked out as 26.78% of 2.2 million equals 589,182, and the summertime equivalent is 23.455% of 2.2 million which equals 516,010.
The period from January to March therefore sees 73,172 more accidents annually than June to August. The average cost to repair a damaged vehicle is estimated at £2,050. Therefore, £2,050 x 73,172 equals £150,002,600 which is the additional cost of accidents during winter compared to summer.
The figure of 2.2 million is based on an accepted estimated figure for number of accidents annually. Survey data on road accidents takes statistics from the DfT and combines them with those from the National Travel Survey and the British Crime Survey to enable an estimation of the total number of accidents including those which go unreported. Accident Exchange manages roughly 2-4% of all accidents annually; approximately 40,000 per year.