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A study conducted by the Accident Exchange management company has revealed that more than 6 per cent of accidents are caused by lane change manoeuvres, which causes more than £437 million in vehicle damage each year.
looked at an excess of 50,000 accidents and the results found that land change collisions had in fact risen by a huge 48 per cent in the past two years.
The majority of accidents were caused by drivers changing lanes without indicating and colliding with another vehicle. The reasons cited for the accidents were from poor rear or side visibility in certain cars, as well as driving without due care and attention.
The survey suggests that the amount of annual lane change accidents is now as high as 152,000 with the average cost of each accident amounting to approximately £2,876 in repairs. This excludes the financial impact on emergency services.
The Department for Transport figures back up the findings from the Accident Exchange survey, showing that an action as simple as failing to check for other vehicles results in 38 per cent of accidents reported on the UK’s roads. Poor visibility from large door pillars and lower driving seat positions in certain models of car do nothing to improve the situation.
“The sharp rise in drivers seemingly unaware of the presence of another vehicle in an adjacent lane is pretty startling,” said Lee Woodley of Accident Exchange.
“Today’s cars are packed with ‘active’ safety equipment, but for some vehicles strengthened frames can mean reduced visibility and larger blind-spots. Older cars tend to have slimmer pillars which don’t obscure the driver’s view to the side or rear as much. This is certainly part of the problem.”
In 2005, the Driving Standards Agency, the regulatory body for driving tests, banned the new Mini Convertible from the roads because of its poor visibility, which was frequently noted by many examiners. A list of best and worst cars for visibility was recently compiled by Which? Car, citing the Smart ForTwo Coupe as the best, and the Porsche Boxter as the worst for visibility.