Motorists taking to the roads at the end of winter have been advised to be extra vigilant, after new research has highlighted the time of day when accidents are most likely to happen.

According to the findings from vehicle protection specialist AX, the number of bumps, prangs and scrapes reported by drivers reach their peak between 17:00 and 17:10 each day in winter.

The report is based on the analysis of more than 57,000 vehicle accidents. It showed that one in six collisions are reported during this small timeframe.

In total, around one-third (34 per cent) of accidents involve one car hitting the rear of another. At the same time, 31 per cent involved cars hitting parked vehicles, while eight per cent came as a result of vehicles reversing.

“Stopping distances double in the rain and are as high as ten times more in icy and snowy conditions,” commented Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of sales and operations at AX.

“This goes some way to also explaining why 31 per cent of incidents we manage involve a moving car hitting a parked one as the driver loses control.”

It may come as a surprise to see the amount of accidents involving parked vehicles. However, darker evenings and slippery, unpredictable conditions make the end of February a particularly hazardous time for all road users.

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “Drivers need to ensure they are taking every measure possible to stay safe when they take to the roads. That said, during peak accident times they should be more vigilant than usual, especially at this hazardous time of year.”

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