RAC Cars News


Night-time Accidents Happen At Higher Speeds

By raccars Published

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Research by telematics firm, In-Car Cleverness, has shown that the average speed of car crashes rises steadily as the night goes on. The average crash speed at 8pm is 24mph, but reaches a peak at 2am of 36mph.

The highest collision speed ever recorded by the firm was 100mph. In-Car Cleverness suggests its analysis shows that drivers indulge in riskier behaviour at night. This is believed to be because traffic is lighter, but unfortunately during these same hours, drivers can suffer more from tiredness, affecting their reaction times, while darker streets are proven to be an increased risk factor in accidents. A second spike in collision speeds has been observed from 4-5pm, showing that the average speed of rush hour collisions rises to 32mph at this time, compared to 27mph outside this time.

The study looked also at the increased physical severity of crashes taking place at higher speeds. Collisions which take place at 1am can result in a 5.6 G-force reading.

The research was conducted on data logging devices installed in a fleet of rental cars, which In-Car Cleverness is using in an advanced digital crash reconstruction technology project. The firm hopes this will help to develop a better understanding of the circumstances and forces involved in car collisions.

Earlier this year, the Department for Transport released figures suggesting that the main cause of accidents in the UK was a failure to look. This could contribute to 62,000 road casualties every year. The incorrect judgement of the path or speed of another vehicle was named the second biggest reason for accidents, relating to 34,000 casualties.

Overall road casualties in the UK are falling, with deaths down 2% from 2012 to 2013 and total casualties 6% lower. Nonetheless, Brake, the road safety charity, claims that progress has slowed significantly since 2010. The charity is calling on the government to be more proactive in driving progress by implementing a zero tolerance policy on drink driving, an urban speed limit of 20mph as a default and a graduated licence scheme for young and inexperienced drivers.

The same research pointed the finger at drivers breaking speed limits as the cause of 249 road deaths, and a further 209 were attributed to driving too fast for the conditions at the time.

Nearly 1,000 casualties including 18 deaths were blamed on under inflated or illegal tyres.

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