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Side road accidents increase by 12 percent

  • Estimated 198,000 side road collisions last year 
  • Driver distraction believed to be the cause
  • Which safety measures do you think will reduce accidents?

According to research from claim management firm Accident Exchange, the number of car accidents involving a driver pulling out of a side road has increased by 12 percent in just 12 months and accounted for an estimated 198,000 crashes nationwide last year.

Liz Fisher, sales director at Accident Exchange, commented:  “Not looking properly at side road junctions before pulling out is one of the most common – and dangerous – errors a driver can make."

Figures dating back to 2010 reveal that the gradual increase is greater still. Five years ago, Accident Exchange handled 31,000 incidents, of which seven percent involved a side road crash.

Fisher believes the increase in these accidents could be down to driver distraction by following the instructions of a navigation system or talking to someone on a mobile phone via hands-free and forgetting to adhere to the rules of the road or make the necessary checks before emerging.

“The spike in this type of collision could stem from reduced concentration, particularly distracted drivers. Newer models are renowned for their increased safety, but reduced visibility from thicker pillars and smaller glass areas means extra precaution should be taken when emerging from a side road into fast-flowing traffic.”

Earlier in the month, Brake, a road safety charity, set out its vision of reducing deaths and serious injuries on UK roads to Government MPs following the first annual increase in road casualties in 17 years.

The charity's recommendations included a lower drink drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, greater priority given to traffic policing, increased penalties for mobile phone use and speeding and a default urban speed limit of 20mph.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “We often hear that the UK has among the safest roads in the world. Yet after years of progress in bringing down casualties, figures for 2014 have revealed the first annual increase for 17 years.”

”There's far more we can do to make our roads as safe as they can be, where no one must pay the ultimate price for getting around. Global research and experience shows that measures like graduated driver licensing, 20mph limits and a lower drink drive limit are effective in preventing loss of life, and making our streets and communities safer, more pleasant places.”