When are you more likely to be involved in an accident?

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Author: | Updated: 20 Feb 2019 12:53

Winter car prangs, bumps and scrapes peak in the 10 minutes between 17:00 and 17:10, according to new research from accident specialist, AX.

The analysis of over 57,000 vehicle accidents shows that the evening commute between 16:00 and 18:00 accounts for nearly a fifth of incidents on any given day.

Almost one in six prangs during the evening peak occur in the 10-minute period starting at 5pm, making it the most error-prone time for drivers. Taking to the road just 10 minutes later could half the risk of being involved in an accident.


The evening rush hour is followed by the 3pm school run as the most accident-prone time on UK roads.

Within the two-hour period between 14:00 and 16:00, the majority of crashes took place in the 10 minutes between 15:00 and 15:10 as 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%

This year has already seen snowfall and icy temperatures cause chaos on Britain’s roads, with the winter period of November to March seeing accident rates spike by 7.45% compared with the summer months.

With 34% of accidents involving one car hitting the rear of another, AX is warning motorists ahead of the traditionally wet March to leave a sensible gap to the car in front.

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

And yet, despite increasingly commonplace technology like reversing sensors and cameras, nearly one in 12 winter crashes involves a driver reversing into a stationary car.

Top five types of winter road crashes

Hit in rear 34.25%
Hit whilst parked


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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