During the lockdown, there was a staggering decrease in the number of road accidents. Now that measures are being relaxed, could this result in a spike in the number of accidents taking place?
Here, we’ll look at how the lockdown impacted road accidents in the UK and what we can expect as more cars start to return to the roads.
Lockdown slashes accident rate by more than half
When the UK went into lockdown, there was a significantly lower number of cars on the road. This naturally meant the accident rate would decrease. In the West Midlands alone, there was a 65% drop in road accidents during the lockdown. In March 2019, the West Midlands police reported 472 injuries from road traffic accidents. However, in March this year, that number dropped to just 163 injuries.
In total, traffic throughout the UK is said to have dropped by between 60-80% since March 2020.
Recent ease in restrictions sees spike in accidents
Since the lockdown rules have started to ease, road traffic accidents have spiked by over a third.
Motorcycle accidents have seen a particularly high spike in Wales. Even during the lockdown, police recorded 50,000 motorbikes on the roads of Wales in just one weekend. This naturally saw an increase in collisions involving bikes which put a strain on resources.
The increase in accidents has also led to more road traffic accident claims. Insurers are experiencing high demand as the restrictions continue to ease.
So, what is causing the spike in accidents other than the fact there are more cars on the road?
What is causing the spike?
There are a number of factors contributing to increased road accidents right now. Many experts believe that it is down to more people being reluctant to use public transportation. As we continue to socially distance, being cooped up on public transport is a risk many commuters are reluctant to take.
As the lockdown lasted three months, it is also thought the break away from driving is another factor. Motorists are used to driving every day, so the break could have made them a little rusty behind the wheel.
Then there is the fact the government has urged more people to cycle to work. The increased number of cyclists on the roads has also led to increased collisions.
These are just some of the reasons why we are currently seeing a spike in road traffic accidents. Police across the country are urging drivers to take extra care when returning to the roads.