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Drivers more likely to have an accident next week

Drivers more likely to have an accident next week

Category: Annuities

Updated: 29/06/2017
First Published: 28/10/2008

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Direct Line, Britain's largest car insurer, has revealed that British motorists are more likely to have an accident in the week after the clocks go back. Last year, Direct Line received 15 per cent more claims in the week following the end of daylight savings than the week prior to the clocks going back.

With many motorists finding themselves driving home in the dark, they are more likely to misjudge braking distances, veer out of their lane, fail to see other vehicles and be affected by winter weather conditions.

A number of local authorities such as Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire and Powys have cut street lighting to reduce energy costs and many more plan similar programmes over coming months, increasing the risk of accidents throughout Britain.* While these cost cutting measures may help the local authorities' bottom line, the costs to society of increased accident rates should not be forgotten.

As well as the emotional damage caused to the family and friends of those affected by road accidents, each road fatality costs society around £1.2 million, while serious accidents cause around £140,000 of damage.**

Head of Car Insurance at Direct Line, Maggie Game, says:

"Motorists should take extra care this week as we adjust to the hazards of driving in the dark. We see a sharp increase in the number of claims from customers in the week after the clocks go back and encourage people to take a cautious approach to the different conditions.

"Darker conditions result in slower reaction times, greater braking distances and poor depth perception. Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do and all of these risk factors make driving in the dark even riskier."

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