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10-minute spike for car accidents revealed

Drivers finishing work at 5pm could halve their risk of being in an accident by leaving work 10 minutes later.

Winter months see a 7.45% spike in road accidents, with rear-end collisions the most common, according to AX

That’s the finding of new research by AX, which has revealed that winter car prangs, bumps and scrapes peak in the 10 minutes between 17:00 and 17:10.

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 accounted for nearly a fifth of incidents on any given day.

Almost one in six prangs during the evening peak occurred in the 10-minute period starting at 5pm, making it the most error-prone time for drivers. Between 17:00 and 17:10, 14.46% of accidents within the rush-hour period took place. Between 17:10 and 17:20, 7.07% of all accidents within the rush-hour period took place.

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.

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%

The analysis by AX – which recently rebranded from Accident Exchange – also shows that March is the second-worst month for accidents, behind November, both of which are among the wettest months of the year. And the overall winter period of November to March brings a 7.45% spike in road accidents, with rear-end collisions the most common.

“Stopping distances double in the rain and are as high as 10 times more in icy and snowy conditions,” said 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.”

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%



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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.