Lane Change Collisions Up 48% Since 2009

Lane change collisions – car crashes caused by one car crashing into another when changing lane – are up 48% since 2009 and cost an estimated £437 million per year, according to new research.

In the majority of cases, the ‘at fault’ driver changes lanes without indicating and collides with another vehicle. Poor rear or side visibility and driving ‘without due care and attention’ are cited as the typical causes.

The study was conducted by Accident Management company Accident Exchange, and looked at 50,000 claims between June 2009 and June 2011. Department of Transport figures also support the company’s findings – according to the DoT, simply failing to check for another vehicle is the most frequently reported contributory factor (38%) to an accident.

Lee Woodley of  Accident Exchange believes that the improved safety of modern cars might be another contributory factor:

“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.”

How To Avoid Lane Change Collisions

If you are concerned about having a lane change collision – or if you have had one and are worried about it happening again, there are two things you can do to help reduce your chances of being at fault:

  1. Make sure your wing mirrors are correctly adjusted to provide a good view down the side of your car.
  2. Even when well adjusted, you will still have a blind spot – make sure you know where your blind spot is.
  3. Don’t just rely on your mirrors when changing lane – check your blind spot by taking a quick look before you change lanes – it only requires you to turn your head for a moment!
You also need to be aware of other drivers who may be about to change lane. Drive defensively to avoid them if possible; even if they are at fault, it is better to act defensively to avoid an accident if you can. By speeding up, slowing down or changing lane yourself, you may be able to avoid an accident. Of course, you should only take evasive action if it is safe to do so – don’t cause an accident yourself in the process…

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