New research has shown there are a staggering 405,000 rear-end bumps in the UK each year, accounting for one in four of all road accidents.
Car insurance firm Admiral looked at data from more than 200,000 of its accident claims in 2010 and found 27% of them occurred when one car hit another from behind. This is a 9% increase in the percentage of these types of accidents from 2009.
Many rear-end accidents result in whiplash for the occupants of the car, and whiplash alone costs insurers £1.9billion a year and accounts for 75% of all bodily injury claims**.
Admiral managing director, Sue Longthorn, said: “Rear-end shunts are all too common on our roads which I can only imagine is down to driving habits.
“Congestion means we often travel in slow moving traffic and many of us get frustrated and drive a little too aggressively. This can cause us to bump the car in front.
“On faster roads many of us don’t leave enough space between ourselves and the vehicle in front. If the car in front needs to break suddenly, it’s possible to go straight into the back of them.”
An increase in crash for cash accidents is a worrying statistic that could explain the rise in rear-end accidents. Around 30,000 accidents are staged each year, with each claim averaging around £17,000.
Ms Longthorn, said: “We have seen a significant rise in rear-end accidents in one year and included within this is the increased number of ‘slam on’ accidents reported by our customers. These are accidents where a fraudulent motorist will slam on their brakes unexpectedly causing the motorist behind to drive into the back of their vehicle.
“It’s very difficult to prove incidents such as these so we would advise all motorists to be aware they are on the increase and be vigilant. There are unscrupulous drivers out there causing slam on accidents so it’s important to keep your distance from cars in front.”
Insurance fraud costs our industry £3 billion a year and the cost has to be met in increased premiums. In fact, it works out at an additional £44 on everyone’s premium.