New safety technology has failed to halt the rise in rear-end crashes on the road, according to research by Accident Exchange.
Rear-end shunts – when one car drives into the back of another – have risen by 7% in the last three years. The percentage (of the total number of accidents that Accident Exchange recorded) that rear end shunts represents, has gone up from 32.17% to 34.52%. Each accident recorded by Accident Exchange causes damage costing an average of £2,000 to repair.
The majority of rear-end collisions occur at low speeds in urban areas but, overall, constitute over a third of all accidents.
The figure has been rising steadily since 2011, despite the adoption of collision avoidance systems, powerful brakes and ABS systems over the last few years.
While not always standard equipment, Audi, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Skoda, Volvo and other mannufacturers provide systems on new cars which autonomous braking.
Liz Fisher, director of sales development at Accident Exchange, said: “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.
“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.”
Under section 126 of the Highway Code, typically if a driver hits another vehicle in the rear, they will be at fault for the incident. However, there are exceptions to the rule; for example, if the driver in front changes lanes and immediately brakes, or slows down suddenly for no reason.