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Warning to fleets as rear-end collisions rise

According to new research by Accident Exchange, rear-end shunts have risen by 7% in the last three years, despite the adoption of collision avoidance systems for some vehicles.

The firm is warning that due to the low speed nature of the majority of this type of accident, thousands of drivers could be unaware of underlying damage, mistaking potentially serious problems for minor cosmetic blemishes. Components at the front of the car such as the “crash box” or airbag sensors, if damaged even at low speeds, can reduce the effectiveness of safety features, says Accident Exchange.

It adds that fleet managers should educate drivers about the possibility of more sinister problems beneath superficial damage and is emphasising the importance of OEM-quality repairs as part of any good post-accident support package.

The risk is that damage done by minor bumps is more than cosmetic and that the structural integrity of the vehicle may be compromised, despite not being visible.

Liz Fisher, director of sales development at Accident Exchange, said: ‘After almost any accident, it’s important that any damage is checked by a professional at an approved bodyshop because apparently light damage can hide a multitude of sins.’ 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.